6 Big takeaways from India's ODI and T20I squads for South Africa tour
India’s tour of South Africa will start with three-match T20I series on December 10.
The Indian selection committee, led by Ajit Agarkar, announced India’s squad for all three formats for the South African tour. After the ongoing five-match T20I series, they will fly to South Africa to play three ODIs, three T20Is, and two tests starting on December 10. The tour will start with three T20Is, followed by ODIs and tests, respectively.
All three squads have three different captains and almost three different teams where Ruturaj Gaikwad being the only player in all three squads.. The white-ball leg of the tour will see something different this time around. With the T20 World Cup 2024 coming up, the BCCI has made some big decisions. Here we will talk about six big things to notice in the ODI and T20I squads for the South Africa tour.
Here are six big takeaways from BCCI announcement:
1. No Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli in white-ball teams:
The biggest talking point from ODIs and T20Is is that India’s two main pillars, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, are not part of squads. So is it the end of both Indian stalwarts in the white-ball format? According to the BCCI, Virat and Rohit have asked for a break from the BCCI in white-ball cricket for the tour. Both are part of the Test squad, but it has certainly raised doubts in many minds about whether they will be part of the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024 or not, or whether India have decided to look for new faces now.
2. Hardik Pandya still unfit:
Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya suffered an ankle injury during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and was ruled out of the tournament. But there were some media reports that he might be back. But he is not part of ODIs and T20Is, which means he is still unfit and needs time to recover. However, Hardik is expected to be fit for the IPL 2024 ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup 2024.
3. KL Rahul named ODI captain:
With Rohit and Hardik unavailable, the BCCI has given the captaincy to KL Rahul, who will be leading the team in a three-match ODI series. Rahul was Rohit’s deputy in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 after Hardik Pandya got ruled out mid-tournament. Notably, Rahul led India on the last South Africa tour as well. It will be a big test for the stand-in captain with such a young team.
4. Suryakumar Yadav sacked from ODIs:
Hardik’s injury gave Suryakumar Yadav a chance to play in the World Cup 2023, but his performance in 50-over cricket is below par. Hence, the BCCI has decided to drop him, and he is not part of the South Africa ODIs. SKY will be leading the T20I side but will not be part of the ODIs. It means we might not see him in ODIs anymore.
5. The return of Sanju Samson and Yuzi Chahal in ODIs:
The ODI squad has seen the return of Sanju Samson and Yuzvendra Chahal. Fans are pretty excited to see these two superstars back in Indian colors. Samson played his last ODI game against West Indies in August, while Chahal played his last ODI match against New Zealand in January 2023. But the question remains: why are these two not in the T20Is?
6. Rinku Singh earns maiden ODI call-up:
One of the most exciting talents among the youngsters is Rinku Singh. The left-hander has shown great maturity and done well in the limited chances he has had. Hence, he has been rewarded for his gold form. Rinku is part of the ODI squad for India and got his maiden ODI call, and he is likely to get his maiden cap as well.
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