Shardul Thakur included in place of the spinner as Captain Kohli also names KL Rahul in the XI.
K L Rahul could partner Rohit Sharma at the top of the order in the first Test which begins on Wednesday.
Both sides are smarting from the mauling they received from New Zealand in June with England losing at home and India in the WTC final in Southampton.
Former South African opener Herschelle Gibbs said that the BCCI had warned him against taking part in the league.
The star all-rounder wants to prioritise his mental wellbeing and continue his recovery from an injury to his left index finger.
The Indian batsmen found the going tough against the Sri Lankas in the T20I series decider.
Chasing a modest target of 82, Lanka were home and dry with more than five overs to spare.
India scored 132 for five on a sluggish pitch, but the hosts overhauled the target with two balls to spare.
The match will now be played on Wednesday.
Indian all-rounder Washington Sundar, pace bowler Avesh Khan and opening batsman Shubman Gill have been ruled out of the five-Test series.