The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday (January 28) announced a 16-member squad for the upcoming three-match T20I series against South Africa, starting from February 18 in Johannesburg.
Suresh Raina makes a comeback into the Indian team after a year's absence from international cricket. The 31-year-old last played for the Men in Blue in February 2017 at home in T20I series against England.
Raina had reportedly struggled to clear the much-talked-about yo-yo test but a successful fitness test in December last year brightened his hopes of a comeback.
The Uttar Pradesh captain's recent form in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy must also have turned the selector's attention towards him. Notably, the left-hander hit 314 runs from nine matches, including an unbeaten 126.
Meanwhile, Indian Premier League's (IPL) latest million dollar boy Jaydev Unadkat was retained in the T20I squad after his impressive performance against Sri Lanka in a three-match T20I series last year.
On the other hand, Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer, who are part of the ODI squad for the six-match series, are not going to be part of T20I squad.
Fast bowler Mohammad Shami, who picked up 15 wickets in the recently concluded Test series, will also miss out the T20I leg of the ongoing tour.
KL Rahul, who was bought by Kings XI Punjab for a whopping Rs 11 crore in the ongoing IPL auction, is back in the T20I squad along with left-handed Raina.
India, who clinched a consolation win in the Johannesburg Test on Saturday (January 27), will begin the limited-overs leg of the ongoing South Africa tour with six-match ODI series, starting from February 1.
India's squad for T20I series: Virat Kohli (Captain) Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur
The schedule is as below
|India's Tour of South Africa, 2018 (T20I series)|
|3||24-February||3rd T20I||Cape Town|
India squad for ODI series: Virat Kohli(c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur