Lucknow, October 5
A new-look Indian team, led by Shikhar Dhawan, will aim to make a statement and be in the reckoning for the next year's 50-over World Cup when the three-match ODI series against South Africa begins here tomorrow.
Big guns like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami and Ravichandran Ashwin are scheduled to fly to Australia for the T20 World Cup early tomorrow, and in their absence the Indian selectors have opted for a fresh squad that includes pacer Mukesh Kumar and batsman Rajat Patidar. The two earned their maiden call-ups.
The squad also features a few of the T20 World Cup reserve players and as many as six players who could potentially make an ODI debut. Middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer, who is part of the reserves named for the T20 World Cup, will serve as Dhawan's deputy in the series. Right-arm pacer Deepak Chahar and leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, the other players from the stand-by list, have also been included in the team.
Opener Shubman Gill, who has impressed in limited opportunities in the ODIs, is likely to resume his partnership with Dhawan at the top.
Among the other batters, either Rahul Tripathi or Patidar is likely to make an ODI debut tomorrow. Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan will form the fulcrum of India's middle-order.
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