New Delhi: Indian batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar will skip the upcoming series of limited-over matches in Sri Lanka, the national selectors announced on Wednesday. India will play five One Day Internationals (ODIs), starting in Hambantota on July 21, plus a one-off Twenty20 match on August 7.
The 39-year-old Tendulkar, who completed an unprecedented century of centuries during the Asia Cup in Dhaka in March, is the world’s leading run-getter in both Test (15,470) and one-day (18,426) cricket.
Tendulkar, who does not play in international Twenty20 games, has dismissed talk of retirement but has chosen to play in only some of India’s ODIs in recent years.
“Sachin is not available [for selection]. He must be aiming for the England and Australia series later this season,” chief selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth said.
“We have selected the best possible side and hope this season starts with a bang.”
Hard-hitting opener Virender Sehwag and key paceman Zaheer Khan both return to bolster the side after missing the Asia Cup due to injuries.
Sehwag last year became only the second batsman after Tendulkar to hammer a double-century in One Day Internationals. He has far scored 8,090 runs in 245 one-dayers with 15 hundreds.
Zaheer, who played his last one-dayer in February, has bagged 278 wickets in 195 matches.
Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha has replaced all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who was part of the Indian squad in the Asia Cup. Ojha played his last One Day International in Sri Lanka in August 2010. Mahendra Singh Dhoni will lead the 15-man squad, with batsman Virat Kohli as his deputy.