With Rohit Sharma ruled out of the three-match One-Day International series in South Africa, KL Rahul has been appointed as the captain of the 18-member squad announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Friday (December 31).
India squad: KL Rahul (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj
Rohit, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, was ruled out of the ongoing Test series and is still undergoing rehabilitation. Pacer Jasprit Bumrah has been appointed as Rahul’s deputy.
“We are looking at KL Rahul as a three-format player, and he has got good experience of captaincy,” Chetan Sharma, the BCCI chief selector, said. “He has proved his leadership qualities. That is what all selectors think. When Rohit is not fit, we thought KL is the best one to handle the side. We have good confidence in him, and we are grooming him.”
veteran offspinner R Ashwin, who last played an ODI in 2017, has been recalled to the side for the series which is set to begin on January 19. Ashwin, who has picked 150 wickets in 111 ODIs, had marked his return to the limited-overs setup in the 2021 T20 World Cup following impressive performances in the Indian Premier League.
The squad includes several young players who have impressed in the recently-concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy, with the likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad, Washington Sundar and Venkatesh Iyer making the cut. Chetan Sharma also stated that other performers of the tournament who were considered for selection included Shahrukh Khan, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Ravi Bishnoi and Rishi Dhawan.
Only three spinners were selected in the large squad, while as many wicketkeeping options are also available – with Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan in the 18-man list.
Pacer Mohammed Shami has been rested as a part of his workload management while all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel were unavailable for selection due to their respective injuries.