UP pacer Ankit Rajpoot has replaced Navdeep Saini as a part of fast bowlers contingent which will travel to South Africa with the Indian cricket team.

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Photo credits: (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

Though no reason has been given for Navdeep’s replacement, it can be understood that since Delhi is all set to play the semifinal of Ranji Trophy from December 17 to 21, BCCI had to select a bowler as in case Delhi win the match, then Sani would play the final instead of flying to South Africa.

There still lingers a question as in case Delhi fail to qualify for the finals, then will Navdeep got to South Africa or not?

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India's squad for SA tour 2018

He has been to the country a few months with India A team for the unofficial Test series against South Africa A. He is leading Delhi’s pace attack in the absence of Ishant Sharma, a duty which he will continue in semifinal game as well.

The Indian team will land in the country on December 28 and will straightaway participate in practice sessions. Earlier, the team had a practice game right from the very next day, but now, it has been cancelled, and the team will undergo the practice session instead.

Four bowlers viz Mohammed Siraj, Avesh Khan, Basil Thampi and Ankit Rajpoot will bowl to Indian bowlers in nets so as they can prepare for the South Africa series on bouncy tracks.

BCCI has planned to arrange a special ground for the players where a fast pitch will be laid down so as batsmen can practice on bouncy tracks. The bowlers present in the 17-member squad will also look forward to bowl during the net sessions and assimilate to the conditions there in South Africa.

Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, will have a tough job to pick between Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. While Bumrah may not get his Test cap in South Africa, the rotation policy might continue between the four other pacers.

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