Asia Cup: Virat to lead, Karthik in for injured MS Dhoni

New Delhi, Feb 20: India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been ruled out of the forthcoming Asia Cup to be played in Bangladesh Feb 25-March 8 and Virat Kohli will lead the side with Dinesh Karthik coming in as wicketkeeper.

“Dhoni sustained a Grade I left side-strain injury during the course of the second Test against New Zealand and he will be undergoing rehabilitation for ten days,” the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said in a media release Thursday.

The statement said the national selectors decided to ask Kohli to captain the side and picked Kartik to keep wickets in Dhoni’s absence

The injury to Dhoni was revealed soon after the Indian squad arrived in Mumbai Thursday from New Zealand where they failed to win any match, losing two of the three One-Day Internationals and one of the two Tests. The last ODI was washed out by rain and the second Test in Wellington was drawn.

Kohli has led India in eight one-dayers when Dhoni injured his hamstring during a tri-series in the West Indies in July. He was rested for the following tour of Zimbabwe in July-August.

Under Kohli’s leadership India won seven matches. Karthik last played for India on the Zimbabwe tour.

The Asia Cup schedule:

Feb 25: Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Fatullah, 1330 IST
Feb 26: Bangladesh v India, Fatullah, 1330 IST
Feb 27: Afghanistan v Pakistan, Fatullah, 1330 IST
Feb 28: India v Sri Lanka, Fatullah, 1330 IST
March 1: Bangladesh v Afghanistan, Fatullah, 1330 IST
March 2: India v Pakistan, Mirpur, 1330 IST
March 3: Afghanistan v Sri Lanka, Mirpur, 1330 IST
March 4: Bangladesh v Pakistan, Mirpur, 1330 IST
March 5: Afghanistan v India, Mirpur, 1330 IST
March 6: Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Mirpur, 1330 IST
March 8: Final, Mirpur, 1330 IST

IANS