Rohit Sharma was injured in the fifth and final T20I against New Zealand at the Bay Oval and that forced him to miss the ODI and Test series. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Rohit Sharma has been left out of the Indian cricket team for the three-match ODI series against South Africa starting on March 12. Rohit Sharma, who missed the ODI and Test series in New Zealand following a calf injury which he sustained after the end of the fifth and final Twenty20 International at the Bay Oval, has not yet recovered. Rohit Sharma will be looking to be fit for the Indian Premier League which begins on March 29. The squad also sees the return of Hardik Pandya, who was sidelined due to a back stress fracture for close to six months. The first match will begin on March 12, followed by the second on March 15 while the third match will be played on March 18.
There was no place for Mayank Agarwal in the team while Prithvi Shaw was retained despite a moderate tour in New Zealand. Agarwal and Shaw opened the batting in New Zealand in the absence of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit. The side also sees Dhawan come back into the side after a good outing in the recent DY Patil Tournament. Pandya has been in magnificent form in the tournament, blasting 158 in one match and also taking wickets on a consistent basis.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is also back in the side after the sports hernia operation. (Image credit: Getty Images)
Apart from Rohit, the other big name not included in the Indian side is Mohammed Shami, who had a decent tour of New Zealand. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was sidelined with a hernia injury and missed the entire tour of New Zealand, is also back and is expected to share the new ball duties with Jasprit Bumrah. Navdeep Saini could be the first change bowler while there could be a rotation yet again between Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal for the matches depending upon the conditions.
South Africa will be arriving in India high on confidence after whitewashing Australia 3-0 in the recent series. Quinton de Kock has assumed the captaincy mantle and the Proteas are staging a recovery by winning a bilateral series for the first time in a year with a comprehensive all-round display against Australia. South Africa will be desperate to break their woes against India, having lost six out of their last seven Tests in India by a big margin while in the last bilateral series encounter, they were hammered 5-1.
The first match will take place at the HPCA stadium in Dharamshala while the second match will happen at the new Ekana cricket stadium in Lucknow. The third and final ODI will be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata before most of the players prepare for the Indian Premier League that will begin on March 29.
India ODI Squad
Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Virat Kohli (C), KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Shubman Gill.