The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the Indian squads for Twenty20 (T20) and ODIs against South Africa in the forthcoming Mahatma Gandhi-Nelson Mandela series. The 72-day long energy-sapping tour includes three T20 internationals, five ODIs and four Test matches.
Surprisingly, Harbhajan Singh has made it to the T20 squad of Team India against South Africa. His experience will come in handy against the mighty Proteas, who also have a dangerous T20 side. Harbhajan has a decent economy rate in the T20s and he can also swing the willow hard when needed.
Gurkeerat Mann Singh has also been selected. He had put up a brilliant all-round performance against Bangladesh A in the 1st ODI and is likely to be India's number seven in the batting lineup as well as the fifth bowling option in the 50-over format.
The much-anticipated marathon series between India and South Africa will be starting in less than two weeks time. BCCI had announced 30 probable players who will be undergoing a training camp ahead of the series in Bangalore.
The selectors were supposed to announce the squads on 15 September but they decided to wait until Sunday. They wanted to take a close look at some of the India A players during their three-match ODI series against Bangladesh A.
India A are playing Bangladesh A in the final ODI of the series on Sunday in Bangalore. Some of the names that popped up after the first two ODIs in the series were of Mayank Agarwal, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Rishi Dhawan and Karn Sharma.
The selectors sat down alongside T20 and ODI skipper MS Dhoni in the meeting to make their final choices for the upcoming series. This is going to be an important series and quite likely, Dhoni's suggestions would not have been turned down.
Ravindra Jadeja has been left out of both the T20 and the ODI squads. Amit Mishra has also been included both the squads after his string of good performances in Sri Lanka. Left-arm seamer Sreenath Aravind made it into the T20 squad against the Proteas. Aravind has bowled really well and maintained a good line and length against Bangladesh A in the ongoing series.
Mohammad Shami, who wanted to play against South Africa, was added in the 30 proabable player list, but due to fitness reasons he could not make it to any of the squads.
T20Is: MS Dhoni (C & wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Stuart Binny, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Harbhajan Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Amit Mishra, S Aravind.
First three ODIs: MS Dhoni (C & wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Amit Mishra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav.