India to test bench strength in Zimbabwe

NEW DELHI: A second-string Indian team left for Zimbabwe to play a tri-series, hoping to convince the selectors they were ready for the big league.

The 15-man-squad, led by Suresh Raina, will play Sri Lanka and the hosts in a double-leg tri-series that opens in Bulawayo on Friday and ends with the final in Harare on June 9.

The selectors have rested eight top stars — captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra — from the tournament.

"With the senior players taking a break, this is a good time for the younger lot to make an impression and prove their worth," said Raina, 23, ahead of the team’s departure.

"The seniors may be missing, but we still have a very good team that can win the tournament."

Four members of the touring squad — fast bowlers Umesh Yadav and Pankaj Singh, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and batsman Naman Ojha — have not played international cricket at the senior level.(AFP)

India’s tri-series squad:

Suresh Raina (capt), Murali Vijay, Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Ashok Dinda, Pankaj Singh, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Naman Ojha.

Schedule:

May 28: India vs Zimbabwe, Bulawayo

May 30: India vs Sri Lanka, Bulawayo

June 1: Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe, Bulawayo

June 3: India vs Zimbabwe, Harare

June 5: India vs Sri Lanka, Harare

June 7: Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe, Harare

June 9: Final, Harare

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