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KL Rahul to lead India in ODI series in South Africa, Jasprit Bumrah named vice-captain

New Delhi, Dec 31: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday (December 31) has announced India's ODI squad for the upcoming three-ODI series in South Africa, starting January 19. In the absence of newly appointed limited-overs captain Rohit Sharma - who has been ruled out due to hamstring injury - the selectors have named KL Rahul as the skipper of the 18-member squad.

All-rounder Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja were also not selected as they were not fit while senior pacer Mohammed Shami, who is in the team for the ongoing Test series, was rested.

"Rohit Sharma is not fit, he is in rehab and he is not going for the ODI series in South Africa. He is working on and building on his fitness. We never wanted to take chance with him," chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma said before announcing the team.

"We are looking to groom KL Rahul and we have confidence in him. He has proved his leadership qualities. KL is the best one who can handle the side. He is an all-format player and he has got good experience of captaincy... this is what all selectors think."

The selectors have also appointed seamer Jasprit Bumrah as the vice-captain of the ODI side that will play three 50-overs format games. This is the first instance when Bumrah has been given the responsibility of being a deputy of the captain in the national side.

The selectors have also recalled senior opener Shikhar Dhawan in the ODI side while former captain Virat Kohli will be playing purely as a top-order batsman. The three-match ODI series will begin at Paarl on January 19. The second match will also be played at Paarl on January 21 while the third one will be at Cape Town on January 23.

Youngsters Ruturaj Gaikwad and Venkatesh Iyer have also been given ODI call-up. Both the exceptionally talented batsmen were in supreme form in the just concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy - the premier domestic one-day tournament in the country.

Senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has once again been rewarded for his consistently good show in the white-ball format and he will be joined by wrist-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in the spin department. Spin bowling all-rounder from Tamil Nadu, Washington Sundar - who had a fantastic Vijay Hazare - has also been included in the side.

In the pace department, Rahul's deputy Bumrah will be assisted by senior seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, along with young guns Mohd Siraj, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, and Shardul Thakur.

The batting department possesses the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav along with Kohli, Rahul, Dhawan, Gaikwad and Iyer. Rishabh Pant and his India teammate from U-19 days, Ishan Kishan, have been included in the squad as the wicketkeeper-batsmen.

This is going to be the first overseas assignment for Team India when Kohli will not be rendering his services as the captain of the side.

Full Squad: KL Rahul (c), Jasprit Bumrah (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj, Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj.

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Story first published: Friday, December 31, 2021, 21:01 [IST]
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