Indian pacer Mohammed Shami has been ruled out of the three-match T20I series against South Africa after failing to recover from COVID-19, while Bengal all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed has been included in the squad in place of Hardik Pandya. Pandya has been rested. The T20 International series against South Africa is starting from 28 September in Thiruvananthapuram.
Deepak Hooda also out
All-rounder Deepak Hooda has also been ruled out of the series due to back stiffness. The national selection committee is ready to include middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer in the squad for the series against South Africa. A senior source in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) told PTI on condition of anonymity, "Shami has not recovered from Kovid-19. He needs more time and hence he will be out of the South Africa series. Umesh Yadav will remain in the team as a replacement for Shami for the South Africa series.
Raj Bawa did not get a chance due to less experience
However, when asked why Shahbaz has been picked in place of Pandya, the source said, "Is there any fast bowling all-rounder who can replace Hardik. Raj Bawa has very little experience and that's why we kept him in the India A team to give him experience. He needs time to shine. Tell me another name?' Meanwhile, Hanuma Vihari will lead the Rest of India team in the Irani Cup match against Saurashtra.
Team of India and South Africa reached Thiruvananthapuram
The Indian cricket team reached the city on Monday for the first T20 International against South Africa to be played at the Greenfield Stadium here on September 28. The Indian team was accorded a warm welcome by fans and the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. The South African team reached here on Sunday and started practice today. KCA said in the release, 'Team India will practice on the ground on 27 September. They will practice from 5 pm to 8 pm. The South African team will practice on the field from 1 pm to 4 pm.