IND Squad For SA Series: Big players including Rohit-Virat will get rest, Dhawan and Pandya in the race for captaincy

New Delhi: Several senior players, including captain Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, will be rested from the upcoming five-match T20 International series against South Africa in view of the Indian cricket team’s crucial tour of England in July. Apart from these two, the national selection committee will also rest Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant against South Africa. It is understood that veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya, who impressed with his captaincy for Gujarat Titans in the current Indian Premier League season, will be required to lead the limited-overs series against South Africa at home and then on the tour of Ireland. responsibility can be given.

The T20I series against South Africa will begin in June with the first match being played in New Delhi and the rest in Cuttack, Visakhapatnam, Rajkot and Bengaluru respectively. The team is likely to be selected for the South Africa series in Mumbai on May 22, the last day of the league phase of the IPL season. Virat Kohli, who is in poor form, will also be given necessary rest. The tour of England in early July is very important for the selectors as well as the BCCI.

A BCCI official with knowledge of the matter said on condition of anonymity, “All experienced players of India will get complete rest of at least three and a half weeks. Rohit, Virat, Rahul, Rishabh and Jasprit will all head straight to England for the ‘fifth Test’ after the limited overs series. We need to keep all our key players fresh for the England series.

When asked about the captaincy of the team, the source said, “The selectors have two options. First, Shikhar Dhawan, who captained India during last year’s Sri Lanka series in the absence of Virat, Rohit and Rahul. Along with this, Hardik Pandya has impressed a lot with his captaincy for Gujarat Titans. It will be a close contest.

Umran Malik has generated a lot of excitement with his top speed of over 150 kmph but looks like he is not ready for the responsibility of the national team. Along with last over specialist Arshdeep Singh, Lucknow Super Giants left-arm bowler Mohsin Khan may get a chance in the team.

It is understood that most of the players, who played in the recent T20 series against Sri Lanka and West Indies, are set to be retained in the national team irrespective of their current form in the IPL. Injuries to Suryakumar Yadav or Ravindra Jadeja have to be taken into account and Deepak Chahar will also not be available.

Batsmen like Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Hooda along with Dhawan and Hardik will be the main players in the batting unit. Sanju Samson can also be retained. In the fast bowling unit, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pramukh Krishna, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan’s place are almost certain. Apart from the excellent pair of Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal in spin bowling, Kuldeep Yadav is also a contender for a place in the team.