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K.L. Rahul to lead India in ODI series against South Africa, Rohit injured


K.L. Rahul will lead India in the the ODI series against South Africa, which begins on January 19. With regular white ball captain Rohit Sharma unavailable, the national selection committee, led by Chetan Sharma, has decided to hand over the responsibility to K.L. Rahul.

Young guns Ruturaj Gaikwad and Venkatesh iyer earned maiden call-ups. Former skipper Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan, too, have been included in the squad.

Dhawanโ€™s last international assignment was in July when he led the second-string limited-overs side for a T20I and ODI series in Sri Lanka. Most of the senior players were engaged in a five-match Test series in England simultaneously. Dhawan had a mixed outing, amassing 128 runs โ€“ including an unbeaten 86 โ€“ in the three ODIs. But managed just 86 in the three T20Is.ย 

Despite scoring 207 in eight innings during the second leg of theย IPL for Delhi Capitals, Dhawan was not picked for the T20 World Cup and the T20I series against New Zealand, the selectors insisting that he was โ€œrestedโ€.

Earlier, there were speculations that Kohli wanted to take a break from the ODI series to be with the family. However, before leaving for South Africa, India’s red ball captain had rubbished such speculations.

Rohit, who was promoted as Indiaโ€™s ODI captain, had to miss out on the Test series against South Africa due to a hamstring injury. While Priyank Panchal replaced him, Rohit left no stone unturned to be fit ahead of the ODI series. The captain also underwent a rehab programme at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, but the selectors did not want to rush.

The Squad

KL 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 (VC), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj

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