South Africa vs India | Suresh Raina returns to T20I squad as Shreyas Iyer misses out

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South Africa vs India | Suresh Raina returns to T20I squad as Shreyas Iyer misses out

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SportsCafe Desk


Suresh Raina saw a surprise return to the T20I squad against South Arica after the southpaw had finally managed to clear the Yo-Yo test back in December last year. The list also saw the return of bowler Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur as Shreyas Iyer misses out after his failure against New Zealand.

India’s T20I squad for the upcoming series against South Africa saw a surprise name in Suresh Raina, who last played for the country almost a year back in February 1, 2017. The left-handed middle-order batsman, however, come back to the fore at the back of some decent domestic displays for Uttar Pradesh with both the bat and the bowl. 

However, after staying out of the circuit for some time, Raina’s fitness was the biggest issue and his failure to clear the Yo-Yo test alongside 2011 World Cup winning teammate Yuvraj Singh, was a big concern. However, Raina announced on his social media on December 21 that he has finally cleared it and this looks like an immediate selection for the experienced all-rounder.

Axar Patel makes a timely return to the squad after he last featured against New Zealand where the bowling all-rounder came in handy in checking the run flow. 24-year-old Shreyas Iyer was handed a debut against the Kiwis last year in the Rajkot T20I that ended in India’s defeat, where he could score only 23 runs. He has played six T20Is so far, scoring 83 runs at an average of 16.60 and his exclusion from the squad is understandable. 

Shardul Thakur returns to the squad after not featuring in the Sri Lanka series last year, while Jaydev Unadkat retains his place alongside Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah following his impressive display against Sri Lanka back home, where he took four wickets at an economy rate of 6.69.

Apart from the regulars. MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Kuldeep Yadav returns to the squad as they replace Wriddhiman Saha, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravichandran Ashwin from the Test squad. India will play South Africa in three T20Is from February 18-24 as they try to salvage a win in the limited-overs format following a 2-1 defeat in the three Test-match series.

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