Indian skipper Virat Kohli, opener Shikhar Dhawan and pace bowler Ishant Sharma have been included in Delhi’s ODI squad for the North zone leg of the Vijay Hazare Trophy between December 10 and 18, which is to be led by Gautam Gambhir.

The trio have been selected for the domestic team keeping in mind that the series with Pakistan is uncertain and the next confirmed series of India is against Australia in Australia in the month of January, which happens to be after a moth-long gap from the Gandhi-Mandela series that is about to conclude.

In case, the series with Pakistan gets a green light, three stand-ins have also been announced.

Selection Committee chairman Vinay Lamba asked cricket fanatics to not make a big issue as to why Gambhir would be leading the team when Test captain Virat Kohli is present in the squad. “We had announced Gautam as the captain for the whole season as the international players were not supposed to be available. I don’t think one should make a big issue if Virat plays under Gautam,” Lamba told PTI after the meeting was held at the Roshanara ground on Friday.

Although the players have been included in the squad, their availability remains uncertain. The selectors are yet to speak to the players regarding the same. “Look we have not had any direct contact with the players but we did not want to take any chances in case they are available. But as a safety measure, we have kept three stand byes also,” Lamba said.

With the month long South Africa series finally about to come to an end and no immediate series scheduled for the near future (if the series against Pakistan doesn’t hold up) , it would interesting to see if the players abide by their duties of domestic cricket or rather prefer take a rest ahead of their tour to Australia.

Interestingly, Virat Kohli led both veterans Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, when he played for Delhi in a Challengers Trophy tournament back in 2013.

Out of current ODI squad, pace-bowler Ashish Nehra who quit the longer format has also been included in the ODI squad for Delhi.

Squad: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Unmukt Chand, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Nitish Rana, Milind Kumar, Manan Sharma, Pawan Negi, Ashish Nehra, Pradeep Sangwan, Ishant Sharma, Navdeep Saini, Subodh Bhati, Shivam Sharma, Rahul Yadav (wk).

Stand byes: Dhruv Shorey (Shikhar Dhawan), Vaibhav Rawal (Virat Kohli), Vikas Tokas (Ishant Sharma).

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