Team India selection panel has a new chairman of selectors in former player Sunil Joshi; and they will now, collectively, be held accountable by the BCCI for the team’s performance. The selectors have since announced the ODI squad that will take on South Africa.
Players Who Return For India
Shikhar Dhawan has recovered from injury and will take his place at the top of the order once again. He will either open with Prithvi Shaw or Shubman Gill. Virat Kohli will once again want to stick to his plans and use KL Rahul in the middle order.
A change in plans is possible because Rishabh Pant has been selected. If he gets to be a part of the playing XI, then expect Rahul and Dhawan to open. India will want to play their best side as they are under pressure going into this ODI series. They suffered a 3-0 ODI series whitewash against New Zealand in February.
Kohli will be happy to see that Hardik Pandya is back to full fitness. Pandya has missed action for over 6 months and his absence was felt. His return will bring a lot more balance to the squad. But the real test will be to see how well Pandya can perform with both bat and ball.
The bowling department will be strengthened by the return of the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar who is also returning from injury.
Players Who Were Left Out
The selectors decided to drop 5 players who were part of the ODI squad to New Zealand. K Jadhav has been dropped and given the fact that he turns 35 in a few days, it could potentially be the end of his ODI career as he hasn’t been as effective as before.
The selectors have also dropped Shardul Thakur who has been very expensive and all-rounder Shivam Dube now that Hardik Pandya is fit. There is also no place for Mayank Agarwal now that Shikhar Dhawan is fit and ready to play. Mohammed Shami has also been dropped for this ODI series.
The big blow for India is that vice-captain Rohit Sharma is not yet fit and will not play a part in this ODI series. Given the fact that he is such a key player for India, his absence could very well put India on the back foot before the series starts.
Form Of Key Players Under Scanner
The selectors have done a good job putting together this squad which looks good on paper. However, the big question is how will these players perform as a number of them are returning from injury while a couple of them have been out of form.
Dhawan, Pandya and Kumar are all returning from injury and will need to be on top of their game if India is going to win the series. We saw Jasprit Bumrah struggling after his return from injury and Kohli will be hoping that a similar situation does not occur with these three experienced players.
Kohli will be under the scanner for once as he had a terrible series with the bat against the Kiwis. The Indian captain sets a high standard for himself and will be under pressure to get a big score.
Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli (capt), Manish Pandey, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.