India name squad for tour to South Africa – Rohit Sharma returns

Test cricket
Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma makes his return to the India Test squad for the upcoming tour to South Africa and has been named as the vice-captain.

The selectors also confirmed that Rohit has been appointed as the full-time India ODI skipper.

Virat Kohli is all set to captain India for the three Tests against the Proteas, starting with the Boxing Day Test at SuperSport Park.

The India skipper had asked the BCCI for ‘absolute clarity’ on selection and bubble protocols but now appears satisfied.

Meanwhile, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, all of whom sat out the home series against New Zealand, return to the India squad.

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Rahul has recovered from the injury that ruled him out of the series against New Zealand.

Hanuma Vihari who has impressed on the ‘A’ tour of South Africa passing fifty three times in four innings, has also been added to the squad .

The pace-heavy squad also features a return for seamer Shardul Thakur.

All of Ravindra Jadeja, Shubman Gill, Axar Patel, and Rahul Chahar were not considered forthe tour to South Africa due to injury.

Jayant Yadav has been retained in the side and will join Ravichandran Ashwin in a spin skeleton crew.

The Test series will form a part of the new cycle of the ICC World Test Championship and India cannot, therefore, afford to take the trip to South Africa lightly.

India last visited South Africa for a Test series in the 2017/18 season when they were narrowly bested by the home side.

The tour was thrown into doubt by the emergence of a new strain of COVID-19 but India have affirmed their commitment to travel.

Mohammed Siraj’s impressive series against New Zealand should be enough to see him earn a place in the XI for the first Test.

India squad for tour to South Africa

Squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj.

Standby Players: Navdeep Saini, Saurabh Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Arzan Nagwaswalla.