Rahul's inclusion means there will be four regular openers in the squad and it is likely that the Karnataka batsman will be playing in the middle order. Senior Pro Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested for the series against the West Indies has also been included in the 15-man squad for the ODI and Twenty20 series. While MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma were certainties to don the blue jersey after India's successful campaign in whites, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina have failed to make the cut, despite the rumours of being in Radar for selection.More news: UK Expected To Unveil Post-Brexit NI Border Plan This Week
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After the ODI series, both sides will lock horns for a lone T20I at the R Premadasa Stadium on 6 September.
Rohit and Bumrah, on the other hand, played in the Champions Trophy and were rested for the series against West Indies. Axar, 23, is already in Sri Lanka with the Test team, as replacement for the suspended Jadeja. Rohit Sharma and Yuzvendra Chahal also got a call-up for the series starting from August 20. The final of Champions Trophy exposed India's slow bowling frailties. This is the first time that Kohli will lead India in a limited-overs contest in the country. Dating back to 2005, India have only lost one ODI series in Sri Lanka, a tri-series held in 2010; they won series in 2008 and 2009 (twice) and then five years ago.