Wicketkeeper-batsman Naman Ojha has been named in the squad for India's Test tour of Australia for just one match and he will return home after the opening game at Brisbane, BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel said today.
"What we have announced today was basically not a 19-member squad, it was 18. For the first Test, Naman Ojha has been added as a replacement of M S Dhoni in case there is a need for a second wicketkeeper. As soon as the first Test is over and Dhoni joins the team, Naman Ojha will come back," Patel told reporters after the selection committee meeting.
Dhoni has been rested from the first Test beginning December 4 to give him more time to recover fully from his right thumb injury.
"Dhoni is suffering from a thumb injury. He is on the right track. It has been further decided to rest him for one more Test, so that everything is fine. It was suggested by his physicist and doctors and after that this decision was taken.
It is a right thumb injury," Patel said. Talking about the team selected for the last two matches of the ongoing ODI series against Sri Lanka, Patel said that some fringe players were included to try them out in view of next year's World Cup.
"We discussed a lot about future strategies for the World Cup and whom we wanted to try and after that it was decided to try and test fringe players in the last two ODIs, and that was the prime focus for this meeting," the BCCI secretary said.
Asked about the exclusion of Wriddhiman Saha from the squad for the last two ODIs against Sri Lanka, Patel said, "There is nothing wrong with Saha but we wanted to give chance to other players and test them before the World Cup. Saha is a very good wicketkeeper.
"Either of Ambati Rayudu and Robin Uthappa can play as wicketkeeper in the last two matches," he said.
Patel also said that injured Ishant Sharma will travel with the team to Kolkata and Ranchi for the last two ODIs.
"He is under physio guidance and rehab. He will travel with the team and the physios can take care of him. He is definitely going to travel with the team but is not part of the team as such. For training part and all it has been decided that he should travel," said Patel about Ishant, who could bowl just four overs due to stiffness on his back in the third ODI in Hyderabad yesterday.
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