India vs South Africa: MS Dhoni not included in Virat Kohli-led squad for T20I series; Hardik Pandya returns

Dhoni last played a T20I on 27 February when India took on Australia in the second match of the series in Bengaluru's Chinnaswamy Stadium.

FirstCricket Staff, Aug 29, 2019 21:57:53 IST

No place for MS Dhoni in India's T20I squad as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday name 15-man side for the three-match series against South Africa, which kicks off India's international home cricketing season next month.

After being handed a break post the ICC ODI World Cup, all-rounder Hardik Pandya returns to international cricket. The Baroda all-rounder is the solitary change in India's T20I squad from the one that toured America and West Indies previous month. Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar made way for the all-rounder.

India vs South Africa: MS Dhoni not included in Virat Kohli-led squad for T20I series; Hardik Pandya returns

File image of MS Dhoni. AFP

Former India skipper, Dhoni, was not picked after there were reports of team management preferring the left-handed Rishabh Pant for the wicket-keeper's position. Pant played a crucial part the T20I series in the Caribbean, whereas he also kept the gloves in the first Test against West Indies recently.

Pant had played a match-winning knock of 65 off 42 balls during the third T20I against West Indies, as India completed a 3-0 sweep over the reigning World T20 champions.

Following the ICC Cricket World Cup where India lost to New Zealand in the semi-finals, Dhoni opted for a break from cricket as he joined the army in Jammu and Kashmir to carry out patrolling and guard duties.

The 38-year-old was conferred with a honorary Lieutenant Colonel rank in 2011.

Strike fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah has not been picked for the T20I series and with Bhuvneshwar Kumar left out from the squad implies a bowling attack slightly short on experience.

Right-arm pacer Deepak Chahar who had an stellar outing in the third T20I against the Windies, where he claimed three wickets for just four runs from his three overs has been retained in the side. His cousin and wrist-spinner, Rahul Chahar, who made his debut in the final T20I of the series, too finds a place.

Fast bowler Navdeep Saini was another debutant in the T20I series, though he played all three matches had an impressive run too. He bagged five wickets in the three-matches.

The three T20Is will be followed by as many Tests against the Proteas. This will be the beginning of a long international home season for India, with Bangladesh, West Indies and Australia slated to visit the country over the next five months.

India begin their T20I series against South Africa on 15 September with the first game to be held in Dharmashala.

India’s squad for three T20Is against South Africa: Virat Kohli(Captain), Rohit Sharma ( vice-captain), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini

Updated Date: Aug 29, 2019 21:57:53 IST

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
6 New Zealand 4784 252