The senior selection committee announced the 17-member squad for the six ODIs against South Africa starting in Durban on February 1. Virat Kohli, after taking a break from Sri Lanka ODIs and T20Is for his wedding with Anushka Sharma, returns to lead the squad which has no big surprises. Kedar Jadhav, who missed the Sri Lanka ODIs due to an injury, makes a return and the selectors have strengthened the pace department with inclusion of Mumbai’s Shardul Thakur.
Rohit, Shikhar and Ajinkya will be the three openers as KL Rahul fails to make the cut, inspite of a good T20I series against Sri Lanka. In the middle-order, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey and Dinesh Karthik hold on to their spots as Hardik Pandya continues to be the only seaming all-rounder in the squad. As far as the spinners are concerned, the young trio of Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal was retained. The duo of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja was again ignored for the shorter format.
Keeping the conditions in mind, the squad is heavy on pace with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur. The six-match series starts in Durban on February 1 and ends with the final ODI in Centurion on February 16.
India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shreyas Iyer, Mohammed Shami, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur
Series schedule: Feb 01 Thu South Africa vs India, 1st ODI Kingsmead, Durban. Feb 04 Sun South Africa vs India, 2nd ODI SuperSport Park, Centurion. Feb 07, Wed South Africa vs India, 3rd ODI Newlands, Cape Town. Feb 10, Sat South Africa vs India, 4th ODI New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg. Feb 13, Tue South Africa vs India, 5th ODI St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth. Feb 16, Fri South Africa vs India, 6th ODI SuperSport Park, Centurion