Mumbai: The veteran spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja continue to be sidelined as they didn’t find a place in India’s 17-member squad for the six-match ODI series against South Africa which was announced on Saturday.
Both Ashwin and Jadeja haven’t featured for India in limited overs’ cricket after the West Indies tour following the Champions Trophy earlier this year. Their return to the team seems all the more tough especially with both Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal impressing with their performances.
“After the Champions Trophy, we tried new boys Chahal and Kuldeep), and we’re also being consistent with Axar (Patel). They’ve done reasonably well and with every game they’re improving a lot. We all felt since they’re doing well, they should be backed,” said chairman of selectors MSK Prasad at the press conference.
Dinesh Karthik has also been named in the squad. But Prasad made it clear that this isn’t a permanent measure.
“We’re grooming some wicket-keepers in the India A tours. More or less, we’ve fixed our mind till the (2019) World Cup. After that we’ll start grooming some of those wicket-keepers.
“Let me tell you frankly that the boys are still not up to the mark what we had expected. So, we’ll keep giving them chance and see their maturity level,” he added.
The former India wicket-keeper also heaped praise on MS Dhoni and his performances in the ongoing series against Sri Lanka.
“MS Dhoni still remains the No 1 wicketkeeper in the world. Day in day out we’ve been saying that. Even in the current series, his stumping has been terrific. He’s phenomenal. There’s no comparison. I don’t see any other wicketkeeper in world cricket, let alone Indian cricket,” added Prasad.
Virat Kohli, who was rested for the limited overs’ series against Sri Lanka would lead the side. Middle-order batsman Kedar Jadhav, who missed the ODI series against Sri Lanka with a hamstring injury has been named in the squad as is expected to be fit before the limited overs’ series begins on February 1. Also, Mohammad Shami and Shardul Thakur have been recalled to the team.
Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shreyas Iyer, Mohammed Shami, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur.