Chennai: After a series defining world record innings against Proteas in Gwalior, Indian selectors have rested Sachin Tendulkar along with Virender Sehwag for the third and final ODI in Ahmedabad.
Harbhajan Singh, who has not been part of the ODI series will again miss the final fixture against South Africa due to family commitments. The absence of three regular members comes as an opportunity for rookie Abhimanyu Mithun and Murali Vijay. Selectors have not made any other significant change in the team announced.
Selectors have also recalled Mumbai batsman Rohit Sharma. Dew is expected to play a significant role in the contest that has become only of academic interest after India`s series clinching victory in the second ODI at Gwalior last night.
The final ODI will be played in Ahmedabad’s Motera stadium.
With India having clinched the three-match series by taking an unassailable 2-0 lead, the national selectors opted to rest the seasoned duo for the inconsequential match.
The selectors left out Uttar Pradesh pacer Praveen Kumar and Mumbai all-rounder Abhishek Nayar from the 14-member squad, with Mithun and Rohit Sharma replacing them.
Harbhajan Singh, who had opted out of the first two matches because of his sister`s wedding, has also been rested, meaning that leg-spinner Amit Mishra is the only specialist spinner in the squad announced after a selection committee meeting here.
Mithun, who was named in the squad for the first Test against South Africa in Nagpur, was left out from the second match in Kolkata without having played the match.
But the selectors opted to give him another chance at the expense of Praveen Kumar.
With Tendulkar, who created history by becoming the first cricketer to score a double century in One Day Internationals, and Sehwag being rested, Vijay and Dinesh Karthik are expected to open the innings.
Tamil Nadu off-spinner R Ashwin, who is also a decent batsman, has been retained in the team along with Uttar Pradesh paceman Sudeep Tyagi. The two youngsters have not yet played a single match in the series and one of them could get a chance in Ahmedabad.
India will again miss the services of in-form opener Gautam Gambhir, hard-hitting middle order batsman Yuvraj Singh and pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, all of whom are recovering from injury.
India won the first one dayer in Jaipur by just one run and then clinched the series with an emphatic 153-run victory in the second one dayer in Gwalior which will be remembered for Tendulkar`s stupendous unbeaten knock of 200.
Squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c), Murali Vijay, Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Sudeep Tyagi, S Sreesanth, R Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Abhimanyu Mithun and Ashish Nehra.