India’s ace paceman Mohammed Shami has failed to recover from his ankle injury and will miss the two-match Test series in South Africa, the BCCI announced on Saturday (December 16). This will come as a massive blow to India who are yet to win a Test series in South Africa.
The two-match series is part of the 2023-25 World Test Championship cycle. The opening Test will be played in Centurion from December 26, while the second will be in Cape Town from January 3.
No replacement has been named yet. India already have five seamers in their Test set-up, with Jasprit Bumrah leading the attack. Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Mukesh Kumar and Prasidh Krishna are the other four fast bowlers.
Before the Test series, India are also scheduled to play three ODIs against South Africa (December 17-21) and Deepak Chahar won’t be part of that. The fast-bowling all-rounder “has informed the BCCI that he will not be available for the upcoming ODI series due to a family medical emergency.”
Bengal’s seamer Akash Deep will replace him in the ODI squad. The 26-year-old, who made his debut for Bengal in 2019, has 42 wickets in 28 List A games at an average of 24.50 and an economy rate of 4.82.
The BCCI release also stated that Shreyas Iyer will join the Test set-up after the first ODI and won’t be part of the last two 50-over encounters. India are scheduled to play a three-day inter-squad match at Pretoria from December 20 to 22.
The first ODI will be played in Johannesburg on Sunday (December 17) before the action shifts to Gqeberha (December 19) and Paarl (December 21) respectively.
India’s updated ODI squad: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sai Sudharsan, Tilak Varma, Rajat Patidar, Rinku Singh, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (c and wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Akash Deep.