India have officially announced their squad for the three T20 internationals against South Africa next month at home.
The three fixtures will be played at Dharamshala, Mohali and Bengaluru on 15, 18 and 22 September respectively, following which the two sides will lock horns in a three-test series beginning October 2.
The Indian selectors have opted for continuity, opting to keep faith with the squad that did the job against the West Indies in the Caribbean. There is only one change- all rounder Hardik Pandya returns, with pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar making away for the MI star.
Somewhat surprisingly, there is no place for either Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal, with the selectors choosing to again back the trio of Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya and Washington Sundar in the spin department.
Former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni continues to be sidelined from the squad, with the Men in Blue looking to give rookie keeper Rishabh Pant as many opportunities as possible behind the wickets ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia next year.
India’s T20 Squad for series vs South Africa 2019
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini
South Africa’s last T20 international series in India was back in the year 2015. The hosts had the squad below.
MS Dhoni (c & wk), Sreenath Aravind, Ravichandran Ashwin, Stuart Binny, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Mohit Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh
With Bhuvi’s and Dhoni’s exclusion, it means that Kohli and his deputy Sharma remain the only survivors from that T20 series played four years ago. The Proteas had emerged 2-0 winners on that occasion, winning in Dharamshala and Cuttack, with the final one in Kolkata rained out.
Byju’s will be Team India’s Sponsor beginning this series. The likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri launched the kit.