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Dhoni to skip Test series

Image: Dhoni: Taking a break

Mahendra Singh Dhoni has opted out of India's upcoming tour of Sri Lanka owing to fatigue.

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One-day captain left out of 16-man squad

Mahendra Singh Dhoni has opted out of India's upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka owing to fatigue. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has revealed that the wicketkeeper-batsman requested to sit out the three-match Test series starting on July 23, which they were happy to accomodate, although he is likely to be available for the following one-dayers. "Dhoni has informed us he is tired and wants to sit out of the Sri Lanka Test series," the BCCI's Ratnakar Shetty said. "We respect his decision and encourage players to opt out if they are tired because of the non-stop cricket these days." Since the start of 2007 Dhoni has played in 14 Tests, 56 ODIs and eight Twenty20 Internationals, while also leading Chennai Super Kings to the final of the IPL, playing in all 16 matches.

Karthik to step in

He had made it known publicly that he was unhappy at the scheduling of the recently concluded Asia Cup where India were forced to play twice in two days. The Indian selectors have named a 16-man squad for the three Tests with Dinesh Karthik likely to take the gloves, although Parthiv Patel has also been included. Out of form opener Wasim Jaffar has been dropped while Yuvraj Singh has also been left out, with Gautam Gambhir brought back in along with uncapped all-rounder Rohit Sharma. Fellow rookie Pragyan Ojha, a left-arm spinner, is named in the squad while Harbhajan Singh returns to international cricket following his five-match ODI ban for slapping Sreesanth during the IPL. Paceman Sreesanth was unavailable for selection because of a side strain, but the experienced Zaheer Khan is back after recovering from a knee injury. Sachin Tendulkar has been out of international action since March after suffering a groin strain but is reported to be back to fitness for the trip to Sri Lanka. Test squad:
Anil Kumble (capt), Virender Sehwag (vice-capt), Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan, Rudra Pratap Singh, Munaf Patel, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Pragyan Ojha, Parthiv Patel.

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