New Delhi: India's Test captain Virat Kohli along with opening batsmen Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are likely to be rested for India's tour of Zimbabwe but there is no confirmation on Mahendra Singh Dhoni's availability for the short series, starting June 11.
India will play three ODIs and two T20 Internationals during the series which will mark the end of the season.
India’s tour of @ZimCricketv – 2016: 1st ODI (June 11th), 2nd ODI (13th), 3rd ODI (15th), 1st T20I (18th), 2nd T20I (20th), 3rd T20I (22nd)— BCCI (@BCCI) May 4, 2016
It is more or less certain that both Virat and Rohit will be rested for series against Zimbabwe. They have been playing non-stop cricket for the last six months and are required to be fresh before India embarks on their tour to West Indies. The chances of Shikhar Dhawan going for the Zimbabwe tour are also very less," a top BCCI source said on conditions of anonymity.
Kohli, who has not missed a single match (save short Sri Lanka series) since the start of the home series against South Africa last October, has played four Tests, 10 ODIs, 15 T20 Internationals apart from the ongoing IPL.
With Kohli set to lead India in 17 Tests, including four away games, in what will be one of the most gruelling home seasons, India's No 1 batsman needs suitable time to get ready for the next season.
Ditto for Rohit, who has also been playing for the better part of last six months save the two Test, where he was not in the playing XI.
However there is no clarity on whether ODI skipper Dhoni will be leading the side in Zimbabwe as he also had his fair share of workload. If Dhoni skips Zimbabwe tour, he might not have anything to play in 2016 unless BCCI organises a few limited overs matches this season.
In case Dhoni does not go, Ajinkya Rahane, like last year, will be leading a young second-string squad to Zimbabwe.
The wicket-keeping duties could be handed over to KL Rahul, whose good form in the IPL has not gone unnoticed. It will be interesting to see if Sandeep Patil-led committee includes phenomenally talented Delhi lad Rishabh Pant as this is last chance for the selectors to try some juniors with India set to play only Test matches at home.
Mohammed Shami and Mohit Sharma -- both coming back from injuries and plying their trade in the IPL could be sharing the new ball.
Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra could be the two frontline spinners along with Ravindra Jadeja. Krunal Pandya, another batsman, who has impressed in the IPL could find a slot in the team while his brother Hardik may find it difficult to retain his place. Hardik is already struggling to keep his place in Mumbai Indians' playing XI.