New Delhi, Aug 29: Hardik Pandya is back in India’s 15-man T20I squad that will play three matches against South Africa starting September 15. His addition, in place of fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, is the only change India have made from the squad that won the T20Is against West Indies.
MS Dhoni continues to be absent from the T20I squad, and so does Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested from India’s white-ball leg of the Caribbean tour.
The absence of Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah means that India have an inexperienced fast-bowling line-up that includes only 11 T20Is between the trio of Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar and Khaleel Ahmed. Among the spin options, India have named left-arm spinning allrounders Ravindra Jadeja and Krunal Pandya, offspinner Washington Sundar and legbreak bowler Rahul Chahar.
Hardik was rested from the tour of the Caribbean from all three formats, after a long season that included tours of Australia and New Zealand followed by the Indian Premier League and the Men’s World Cup.
Hardik’s workload management had been a concern for the team ever since he picked up a stress-fracture injury at the Asia Cup last year and the lower-back stiffness that forced him to miss the ODIs against Australia at home in March.
Among the batsmen, Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer keep their spots along with KL Rahul. Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and the captain Virat Kohli complete the squad.
India T20I squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini