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Fit-again Hardik, Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar back for SA ODIs

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
Last updated on: March 08, 2020 23:20 IST
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Hardik Pandya

IMAGE: Hardik Pandya, who underwent a back surgery, proved his fitness with some blazing innings in the recently-concluded DY Patil Corporate T20 tournament. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

All-rounder Hardik Pandya returned to the Indian squad for the three-match ODI series against South Africa after a six-month injury lay-off, with fit-again senior opener Shikhar Dhawan and seasoned seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar also making a comeback after recovering from injuries.


However, vice-captain Rohit Sharma is yet to fully recuperate from a calf muscle injury and expected to return to action during the Indian Premier League later this month.

Pacer Shardul Thakur and all-rounder Shivam Dube were dropped from the squad that played the ODIs in New Zealand, while veteran Kedar Jadhav made way for young Shubman Gill, who played his last ODI more than a year back, in the 15-member squad, selected under the chairmanship of the newly-appointed Sunil Joshi.

Dhawan had dislocated his shoulder during the final ODI against Australia at home and missed the New Zealand series.

Bhuvneshwar, on the other hand, had a sports hernia surgery but has successfully completed his rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.

The biggest news, though, was Hardik's comeback, which was on predictable lines.

Pandya's last ODI was against New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final in Manchester and the last international game was a T20 against South Africa in Bengaluru in September.

His absence affected the balance of the ODI side, as Dube's underwhelming show in the 14 chances he got showed that he is still not cut out for international cricket.

Pandya's performances at the DY Patil Corporate Cup was not about the 150-odd he scored or the wickets he took, but how fit he looked out there in the middle.

At the same time, the soon-to-be-35 Jadhav, who has literally stopped bowling in ODIs and is also not doing well batting at the No 6 slot, has been finally dropped from the side.

With the next 50-over World Cup in 2023, when Jadhav will be 38, it is highly unlikely that he will add to his 73 ODIs.

Shardul, who did improve as a batsman, leaked runs during the T20s as well as ODIs.

Bhuvneshwar's experience as a swing and seam bowler was sorely missed in New Zealand conditions.

With Mohammed Shami rested for this series, Bhuvneshwar's presence will also be a bit of respite for Jasprit Bumrah, who himself is going through a rough patch.

The three ODIs will be played in Dharamsala (March 12), Lucknow (March 15) and  Kolkata (March 18).

India's ODI squad: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Virat Kohli (Captain), KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Shubman Gill.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

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