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IND vs SA | KL Rahul to captain India in South Africa ODIs, Rohit Sharma misses out due to injury

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KL Rahul will lead India against South Africa in three ODIs

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IND vs SA | KL Rahul to captain India in South Africa ODIs, Rohit Sharma misses out due to injury

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SportsCafe Desk

01/01/2022

BCCI announced an 18-member squad on Friday for the ODI series in South Africa starting from January 19 in Paarl and KL Rahul will lead the side in series. Rohit Sharma misses out due to injury while Ravichandran Ashwin has returned to the squad after four years and will aim to cement his place.

India have made a fine start to the tour to South Africa as they won the first Test of the three match series in Centurion. The team is looking strong and will aim to script their maiden series win in South Africa. India will play a three match ODI series after the conclusion of the Test series from January 19. BCCI announced a 18-member squad for the series on Friday. 

The biggest exclusion of the squad was of Rohit Sharma, who hasn’t yet recovered from hamstring injury. Chetan Sharma, chairman of the BCCI selection committee said that Rohit is working on his fitness and selectors didn’t want to take a chance with him. 

"I must inform you all that Rohit Sharma is not fit. It means that he will not be going for ODIs. He is working on his fitness and the most important thing from the selectors' perspective is that we absolutely did not want to take a chance with Rohit Sharma. This is an important series and since he wasn't 100 percent all five selectors felt it was better not to take this chance," Chetan Sharma, chairman of the BCCI selection committee said.

KL Rahul will lead the team in Rohit’s absence while Jasprit Bumrah has been made vice-captain of the team for the first time. Ravichandran Ashwin has returned to the squad after a long gap of four years playing his last ODI in June 2017 against West Indies. Ruturaj Gaikwad has earned his maiden ODI call-up. 

Shikhar Dhawan has retained his place in the team and will most probably open with Rahul at the top of the order, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel will still sit on the sidelines as they haven’t recovered from injury completely. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will also have an opportunity to regain his form in the absence of Mohammed Shami. The bowling attack will include Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar, Prasidh Krishna, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj. 

It was also announced during the virtual press conference that six players are in contention to be discussed for a spot in the future series. Ravi Bishnoi, all-rounders Rishi Dhawan and Shahrukh Khan, and pacers Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan are the players who have not made the cut for South Africa series but will be considered for the upcoming tours  due to their performance in domestic circuit.

India squad for SA ODIs: KL Rahul (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah (Vice-captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj.

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