SA vs Ind ODI series | Rahul named captain of 18-member squad; Rohit Sharma ruled out

Chetan Sharma said Virat Kohli was told to carry on as T20I captain by everyone in the BCCI.

K.L. Rahul will lead India in the three-match one-day international series in South Africa starting from January 19 as regular white-ball captain Rohit Sharma is not yet fully fit to take part in the series.

Rahul, currently the vice-captain of the Test side as well in Rohit’s absence, will have pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah as his deputy for the bilateral series.

Along with Rohit, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel too were not fit and hence not considered for selection while Mohammed Shammi has been rested.

Ace off-spinner R. Ashwin will make his one-day international return for the first time in four years. He had earlier made his T20 comeback for the ICC World T20 and last played an ODI against West Indies in June 2017.

Experienced opener Shikhar Dhawan returns as well after missing the World T20 and subsequent T20 series against New Zealand.

Some of the young names who find a place in the 18-member squad include Ruturaj Gaikwad who topped the run-charts in the recently concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy, Washington Sundar and Venkatesh Iyer.

Speaking after announcing the team, Chetan Sharma, the Chairman of the Selection Committee said they are looking at grooming Rahul as a potential future captain.

“We are looking at Rahul at the present. He is a three-format player, he has a good experience of captaincy and has proved his leadership qualities. Since Rohit is not fit, we thought K.L. (Rahul) will be the best one who can handle the side. We have confidence in him and are grooming him,” said Sharma.

Chetan also said the committee discussed the names of consistent performers in domestic cricket like M. Shahrukh Khan (TN), Ravi Bishnoi (Rajasthan), Harshal Patel (Haryana) and Avesh Khan (Madhya Pradesh) before adding they will get chances going forward as the team management looks to manage the workload of the regulars.

The Squad:

K.L. Rahul (Capt.), Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaekwad, Virat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah (Vice-capt.), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj.

Fixtures: 1st ODI: January 19; 2nd ODI: January 21; (both at Paarl) 3rd ODI: January 23 (Cape Town).

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