Mohammad Siraj
Mohammad Siraj (Image Credit: Twtter)

Indian selectors announced team India’s 18-member ODI squad on Friday for the three-match series against South Africa.

Rohit Sharma, who was named India’s new white-ball captain, wasn’t included in the ODI series as he hasn’t regained complete fitness from the hamstring injury he suffered during a training session in Mumbai.

KL Rahul, who was named Rohit’s deputy during the T20I series against New Zealand, will lead the team in the ODI series against the Proteas with ace bowler Jasprit Bumrah was appointed his deputy.

Virat Kohli, who was in the spotlight after he was forced to step aside from the ODI captaincy, was also included in the side. Veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan returned back to the squad after being dropped from the T20 World Cup.

Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Shardul Thakur and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who all were part of India’s T20 World Cup campaign, have retained their positions in the 50-over format.

Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer, speedster Deepak Chahar were part of the three-match T20I series against New Zealand and have been included in the squad.

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal (Image Credit: Twitter)

Tamil Nadu off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who last played an ODI game for India in 2017, is all set to return to the format. Ashwin and his state teammate Washington Sundar are the two options available for the off-spinner role.

Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin
Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo: BCCI)

Maharashtra skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad was also named in the 18-member squad after his astounding campaign in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021-22.

Ruturaj slammed four centuries from five innings to accumulate 603 runs at a staggering average of 150.75. His highest score of 168 came against Chandigarh at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium C in Rajkot.

Even though the Indian squad looks like a well-balanced squad with viable options in each slot, yet some players who also deserved to take the plane were left out.

Let us look at three Indian players who are a surprise selection in the ODI squad against South Africa.

3) Ishan Kishan

The left-handed batter made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka last year and made 59 from 42 balls in the first ODI in Colombo.

He didn’t have a great season with Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021 where he could just hit 241 runs from 10 games at an average of 26.77.

India, New Zealand, Knee, BLM
Kane Williamson takes the knee while Indian opener Ishan Kishan stands in the middle. (Photo: Twitter)

Kishan was also given the opportunity to play in the T20 World Cup against New Zealand where he went out cheaply for four runs.

Kishan didn’t play a single game for Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy after returning back from India A’s tour of South Africa.

Also Read: IPL 2022 Retention: ‘It’s Been A Journey That’s Changed My Life’ – Ishan Kishan Pens An Emotional Note After Being Released By Mumbai Indians

2) Mohammed Siraj

Siraj’s inclusion in the ODI squad can be assumed that his tremendous performance with the red-ball is noted by the selectors.

One can understand the Hyderabad pacer replaced senior bowler Mohammed Shami, who has been rested for the three ODIs.

Mohammed Siraj, India
Mohammed Siraj. Image Credits: Twitter

Siraj has just played only one ODI match for India against Australia in Adelaide in 2019 anf thereafter has never appeared in the format.

Siraj played against New Zealand in the first T20I in Jaipur, he yielded 39 runs from his quota of four overs. He was dropped for the next two games in the three-match T20I series.

Also Read: IND vs SA: Absolutely No Need For That – Sunil Gavaskar On Mohammed Siraj’s Over-Aggression Against Temba Bavuma

1)Deepak Chahar

Chahar didn’t play a single match for Rajasthan in the recent domestic white-ball series. His inclusion in the squad didn’t justify when the team already had the likes of Shardul Thakur and Venkatesh Iyer in the squad.

Chahar might have to contend with senior bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a slot in the playing XI. He went for 42 runs in successive T20I matches against New Zealand on home soil.

Deepak Chahar
Deepak Chahar (Image Credit: Twitter)

Chahar was picked ahead of players like Harshal Patel and Rishi Dhawan who are having a great time with the ball.

Also Read: IND vs SA: Deepak Chahar Has Been Kept, Which Is Right, Rahul Dravid Likes Him As A Package – Aakash Chopra On Pacer’s Inclusion In ODI Squad