Dhoni suspended for two matches; Sehwag to lead

Indian captain gets ICC rap for slow over-rate in second ODI

Dhoni suspended for two matches; Sehwag to lead

M S Dhoni during a practice session ahead of the 2nd ODI match between India and Sri Lanka at VCA Ground, in Nagpur on Thursday. PTI

In Dhoni’s absence opener Virender Sehwag has been named to lead the side in the third and the fourth games at Cuttack (Dec 21) and Kolkata (Dec 24), according to a release from the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Saturday. BCCI said it would not appeal the suspension.

With Dhoni’s exit, Dinesh Kaarthick will don his role behind the stumps in the next two games.

With Dhoni having frequent mid-pitch conferences with his bowlers towards the closing stages, Friday’s day-night thriller ended about 45 minutes behind the scheduled finish prompting match referee Jeoff Crowe to impose the suspension on the Indian captain. Other Indian players were fined 40 percent of their match fee. The former New Zealand skipper held a meeting with Dhoni that lasted into the wee hours of Saturday before pronouncing punishment.

Dhoni attracted the severe penalty because his team was found to be three overs short, which falls under the “serious over-rate offence” category. If India are to repeat the same offence in any form of the game within the next 12 months, Dhoni could be banned for two to eight ODIs or one to four Tests. Needless to stay, India will be hard done by the non-availability of not just Dhoni the skipper but Dhoni the batsman as well.
The stumper has been in imperious form in the ODIs this year and is the highest run-getter this year along with Australian captain Ricky Ponting.

Earlier incidents

Dhoni’s Sri Lankan counterpart Kumar Sangakkara too was fined 40 percent of his match fee while the rest of the team was docked 20 percent each for falling behind over-rate in the second T20 match at Mohali.

In a different incident Crowe did not find left-handed batsman Gautam Gambhir guilty of breaching the Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct during the Nagpur ODI.

In a hearing convened after the match last night, Gambhir pleaded not guilty to contravening Article 2.1.3 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Team Officials which relates to “showing dissent at an umpire’s decision by action or verbal abuse”.
The incident took place in the fifth over of India’s innings when Gambhir was run-out by Angelo Mathews.

Meanwhile, the National selectors have included paceman Ishant Sharma for the third and the fourth one-dayers. The Delhi bowler is the only other change in the side apart from Kaarthick.

Squad for the next two matches:
Virender Sehwag (capt), Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Kaarthick (wk), Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuvraj Singh, Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Sudeep Tyagi, Pragyan Ojha.

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