Indian left arm fast bowler Sreenath Aravind has been added to the squad in place of Umesh Yadav for the last two ODIs against South Africa.
The visitors are leading the series 2-1 as the last two game will be played on october 22 and 25 at Chennai and Mumbai respectively.
This is after four long years that the Karnataka player is making a comeback to the national side. All eyes were on the Sandeep Patil-led selection panel’s meeting as they were expected to make the changes. The Indian team hasn’t enjoyed a good time in the coloured clothing since the ICC World Cup 2015.
Barring a series against Zimbabwe, which saw a second string side led by Ajinkya Rahane tour the African country, the team hasn’t played to its potential. They were beaten comprehensively by Bangladesh in June 2015. The team that lost to the ‘once-called cricket minnows’ was a full-strength squad led by Dhoni and consisted of players who had played the World Cup earlier this year.
The team then went to Sri Lanka to play the Tests under Kohli and Dhoni got a rare off from cricket. When he returned after a three-month break to lead the side against South Africa, the team was expected to win both the T20I as well as the ODI series. But India lost the T20I series 2-0, raising questions on Dhoni’s ability to continue as a player and skipper. The protests against the beleaguered captain gained strength when he failed to get the team across the line in the first ODI at Kanpur, which India lost by a narrow margin of five runs.
Dhoni however made a strong statement with his Man of the Match performance in the next ODI in Indore, which India won. But with India going down 1-2 at Rajkot, the selectors were bound to take some harsh calls, specially with lot of confusion surrounding the Indian middle-order and the batting positions.
India’s ODI squad for the final two ODIs vs South Africa (to be played at Chennai and Mumbai):MS Dhoni (c&wk), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Axar Patel, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, Mohit Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, S Arvind, Stuart Binny, Ambati Rayudu, Gurkeerat Mann.