KL Rahul to lead India in South Africa ODI series
Star opener KL Rahul is set to lead Team India in the three-match ODI series against South Africa, starting January 19 in Paarl. The All-India Senior Selection Committee announced the squad on Friday. Rahul will be the stand-in captain as Rohit Sharma has been ruled out with an injury. Japrit Bumrah has been named the vice-captain. Off-spinner R Ashwin returns to the ODI squad.
India's squad: KL Rahul (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaekwad, Virat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Washington Sundar, J Bumrah (vice-captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj.
Rahul has been named the make-shift captain of Team India. He has replaced Rohit, who will miss the ODI series with an injury. Rohit was earlier ruled out of the ongoing Test series against the Proteas after he sustained a left hamstring injury during a training session in Mumbai. He had replaced Virat Kohli as India's white-ball captain in December.
Senior off-spinner Ashwin has earned an ODI call-up after nearly five years. Ashwin, who has been India's specialist spinner in Tests, last played an ODI in June 2017. Ashwin has been impressive since his return to the T20I side. He played three matches in the T20 World Cup (against Afghanistan, Scotland, and Namibia). Thereafter, he featured in two T20Is against New Zealand at home.
A total of 13 players who played in Sri Lanka under Shikhar Dhawan have been excluded. The likes of Venkatesh Iyer and Ruturaj Gaikwad have earned call-ups. They were impressive in the last two Indian Premier League editions for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings respectively. All-rounder Washington Sundar, who missed the New Zealand series at home due to injury, returns.
Senior fast bowler Mohammed Shami has been rested by the Chetan Sharma-led committee as a part of his workload management. As per a report in Cricbuzz, the likes of Shahrukh Khan, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Ravi Bishnoi, and Rishi Dhawan were also considered for selection. Meanwhile, all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel will miss the series due to respective injuries.