Sachin Tendulkar’s decision to take a break has paved the way for Ajinkya Rahane's return to the ODI squad.

The opener finds a place in the 15-man squad announced by the selectors on Wednesday for the July 21-August 7 tour of Sri Lanka, featuring four ODIs and one T20. Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan also make their return to international cricket.

Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha and fast bowler Umesh Yadav make a comeback at the expense of all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja, Irfan Pathan and Yusuf Pathan, and swing bowler Praveen Kumar. Ojha is the third spin option for captain M.S. Dhoni, along with off-spinner R. Ashwin and leg-spinner Rahul Sharma.

Three pacemen

Rested for the Asia Cup with senior man Zaheer Khan, the young tearaway Umesh Yadav is one of three pacers in the team, sharing space with Ashok Dinda and Vinay Kumar.

Virat Kohli keeps his position as vice-captain and is a vital cog in the middle-order. Manoj Tiwary has also been retained.

The team was finalised at the Cricket Centre following a meeting attended by chief coach Duncan Fletcher and selectors.

With 11 ODIs and two T20s so far, Rahane was rewarded for his consistent showing as an opener in IPL-V.

He made his ODI debut in the Natwest Series against England in September 2011 and last played in the fifth ODI against West Indies in December.

Sehwag’s last ODI appearance was in the Commonwealth Bank Series against Sri Lanka at Hobart in February. He suffered a back spasm while Zaheer was advised a break, resulting in both missing the Asia Cup in Bangladesh.

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