Team India have announced a 19-man squad for their upcoming home five-T20I series against South Africa. KL Rahul, who recently led the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) to a top-four finish in IPL 2022, will be the captain in the absence of regular skipper Rohit Sharma. Wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant will be Rahul’s deputy.
Rohit, Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah have all been rested and will be part of July’s England tour, which will include some warm-up matches and a one-off Test that was postponed in 2021.
The Indian team for the South Africa series comprises star performers in IPL 2021. SunRisers Hyderabad’s (SRH) express young pacer Umran Malik, who has taken 21 wickets in 13 games this season, has received his maiden call-up. Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, and Harshal Patel have all been selected as well.
Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) biggest match-winner this season, Dinesh Karthik, has received his much-deserved comeback opportunity. Kuldeep Yadav, who was selected but played just one game in India’s last T20I series, has retained his place after a chart-topping performance for the Delhi Capitals (DC) this season.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya, after looking fit to bowl and in brilliant form with the bat for Gujarat Titans (GT), has also made his India return. Venkatesh Iyer, touted as his only competition, has held on to his place. Axar Patel and Deepak Hooda will take the other two all-rounder spots, while also helping in the spin department.
Leg-spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravi Bishnoi are still in the team, while T20 World Cup participants Varun Chakravarthy and Rahul Chahar continue to remain out. Youngsters Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan alongside Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Shreyas Iyer will shoulder the batting responsibilities.
Suryakumar Yadav is the biggest name conspicuous by his absence, which suggests he still hasn’t recovered from his muscle strain. Meanwhile, Rahul Tripathi and Sanju Samson, who looked in superb touch in the IPL, will feel hard done by.
India squad for South Africa T20Is
T20I Squad – KL Rahul (Capt), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (VC) (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Y Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, R Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik.