India have announced their 15-man squad for the One-Day International (ODI) series against South Africa. All-rounder Hardik Pandya, fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar and opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan return to the team after nursing their injuries. Rohit Sharma, who had to leave New Zealand in the middle of the tour due to a calf injury continues to stay out.
Hardik returns to the side after successfully recovering from his back surgery that has kept him out of action since September last year. He underwent rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), before smashing a couple of centuries in the DY Patil T20 Tournament, which has earned him a place back into the team.
Dhawan last played an ODI for India in January against Australia, before he dislocated his shoulder while Bhuvneshwar, who underwent a sports hernia surgery, could make it to the XI for the first time since August 2019. India have also retained Rishabh Pant in the side, who did not play a part in the limited-overs leg in New Zealand as KL Rahul was preferred ahead of him behind the wickets.
Pacer Shardul Thakur and all-rounder Shivam Dube were dropped from the squad that played the ODIs in New Zealand while veteran Kedar Jadhav made way for young Shubman Gill, who played his last ODI more than a year back.
India go into the series after suffering a 3-0 clean sweep at the hands of New Zealand, while South Africa on the other hand handed out a 3-0 thrashing of their own – against Australia – at home.
The three ODIs will be played in Dharamsala (March 12), Lucknow (March 15) and Kolkata (March 18).
India squad for ODI series against South Africa: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul (wk), Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Shubman Gill
(With inputs from PTI)