Ravindra Jadeja misses out due to injury as we look at the official squad for India vs South Africa (SA) 2021 Test series.
A successful home assignment against New Zealand in Tests and T20Is will now see Team India tour South Africa for the Test and ODI series. Team India were without a lot of star players in the Test series vs New Zealand, but now see the return of almost all their first-choice players; of course for a few exceptions in the form of injuries.
The Wednesday, evening saw BCCI announcing an 18-member Test squad that would tour South Africa for 3-match series. The squad includes 10 batters including 2 wicket-keepers, 2 all-rounders, and 6 pacers. So, what are the key changes and omissions from the squad? Let’s find out in this article.
The biggest change is undoubtedly the return of Rohit Sharma but as the vice-captain of the squad. Ajinkya Rahane, who is going through a rough patch has been stripped off from vice-captaincy. If Rahane doesn’t perform, there are high chances, he might be dropped. So, it makes sense for a more settled player and leader Rohit Sharma to take over the vice-captaincy role.
The second big change is the return of all key players who were rested for the New Zealand Test series. The likes of Rishabh Pant, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, and Jasprit Bumrah are among the big names that were rested for the New Zealand series, but now make a return for South Africa series. Along with these 4, Hanuma Vihari also makes a return.
The key omissions from the squad include 3 players who are out of the squad due to injuries. The likes of which include Shubman Gill, Axar Patel, and Ravindra Jadeja. Meanwhile, KS Bharat misses out due to the return of first-choice keeper, Rishabh Pant. Whereas backup SKY misses out with Vihari returning. Barring these 5, there isn’t any change in the squad.
Overall, Team India have stressed a lot on pacers with 6 pacers making their way. Team India had used a similar strategy in England, and also played 4 pacers most of the time. It seems India would follow a similar strategy in South Africa as well. In addition, the squad looks strong with most of the key players being back.
So, here’s the official squad for Team India for the 2021 Test series vs South Africa
Team India’s Official Squad for 2021 Test Series vs South Africa
Batsmen: Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Rishabh Pant (WK), Rohit Sharma, Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli & Wriddhiman Saha (WK)
All-rounders: Jayant Yadav & Ravichandran Ashwin
Bowlers: Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur & Umesh Yadav
Coach: Rahul Dravid // Captain: Virat Kohli // Vice-captain: Rohit Sharma
The first Test shall begin from December 26, and will be played in Centurion. The second Test begins from January 3, and will be plied in Johannesburg. Whereas the third Test begins from January 8, and will be played in Cape Town. Post this, the teams shall play 3-match ODI series.
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