Shikhar Dhawan has been added to the India A squad for the series against South Africa A while Vijay Shankar has been ruled out. (Image credit: Twitter)
Shikhar Dhawan has been included in the India A squad for the last two unofficial one-dayers against South Africa A in Thiruvananthapuram. India A are currently playing five limited overs games and two unofficial Tests in Wayanad. Dhawan had a modest tour of the West Indies, managing only 27 runs while the two ODIs and 38 runs. He has been named in India's 15-member T20I squad for the forthcoming home series against South Africa. However, there is more bad news for Vijay Shankar after he was ruled out of the series against South Africa A due to a thumb injury. Shankar first lost his place to KL Rahul in the middle-order before a toe injury ended his World Cup campaign. He wasn't picked for the tour of West Indies.
Dhawan's assignment in the West Indies was his first after a fractured finger sustained during his century against Australia at The Oval in the 2019 World Cup ended his tournament.
India A are currently leading the five-match series 1-0 after winning the first game by 69 runs. The match was reduced to 47 overs per side due to a wet outfield. South Africa A won the toss and chose to bowl but Shubman Gill gave India a good start with an aggressive 46. There were contributions from Manish Pandey and Ishan Kishan but Shivam Dube's 79 off 60 balls and Axar Patel's 60 off 36 balls helped India A end on 327/6.
In response, Reeza Hendricks blasted a century and Heinrich Klassen hit a quickfire 58 off 43 balls but they were undone by Yuzvendra Chahal who picked up 5/47 and gave India A a commanding win. In addition to his batting exploits, Axar took 2/39 and he was awarded the Man of the Match.
South Africa are coming to India for a series of three Twenty20 Internationals and three Tests. The three Test will be the first for South Africa in the new World Test Championship. MS Dhoni was not included in the side for the three Twenty20 Internationals while Hardik Pandya makes a comeback after opting to rest for the tour of the West Indies. In South Africa's last tour to India in 2015, the Proteas won the Twenty20 Internationals 2-0 and the ODIs 3-2 before being hammered in the Test series 3-0.