x

Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Virat Kohli to miss ODI series against Sri Lanka to rest ahead of India's tour of South Africa

India captain has played more international cricket in 2017 than any other player, leading him to remind everyone that he's 'not a robot'.

Virat Kohli will miss the ODI series against Sri Lanka and could also skip the Twenty20 series. Rajanish Kakade / AP Photo
Virat Kohli will miss the ODI series against Sri Lanka and could also skip the Twenty20 series. Rajanish Kakade / AP Photo

India captain Virat Kohli will be rested for the one-day international series against Sri Lanka after the Test series ends, selectors said on Monday.

Kohli has stepped up calls in recent weeks for a break from cricket because of the workload before India, the world's top Test nation, start a demanding tour of South Africa in January.

"I'm not a robot, you can slice my skin and check if I still bleed," Kohli said before the Sri Lanka series started.

He has played more international cricket in 2017 than any other Indian player - nine Tests, 26 ODIs and 10 T20s.

India will go into the third and final Test against Sri Lanka in New Delhi on Saturday with Kohli leading the squad that hammered the visitors in the second Test.

The return of batsman Shikhar Dhawan, who opted out of the second Test due to personal reasons, is the only change. The squad for the South Africa tour is to be named before the game starts.

Kohli will be replaced as captain by batsman Rohit Sharma for the three-match ODI series.

Sharma, who hit 102 not out in the Nagpur Test, is expected to remain captain for the T20 games too, as Kohli rests and prepares for the South Africa tour.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya and fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who both pulled out of the second and third Sri Lanka Test to get married, return to the 15-man squad.

Uncapped fast bowler Siddarth Kaul and young batsmen Shreyas Iyer, who has represented India in three T20 games, are also part of the one-day team.

Senior spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja continue to stay out of India's limited-overs plans despite their superb run in the five-day format. Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal remain the team's three spinners in the 50-over matches against Sri Lanka.

The first of the three ODIs will be played in Dharamsala on December 10.