Rohit misses out with injury, Rahul takes charge as captain for South Africa ODIs

Rohit Sharma has not recovered from a hamstring injury that forced him to miss the Test series against South Africa. KL Rahul will lead India in the three-match ODI series against South Africa in his absence. This was meant to be India’s first ODI match after Rohit was designated the format’s full-time captain. Jasprit Bumrah has been chosen as the team’s vice-captain.

R Ashwin, who last played an ODI in 2017 but returned to the T20I side earlier this year, was welcomed back into India’s 18-man team. Venkatesh Iyer was called up for the first time in an ODI. Venkatesh, like in T20Is, might bat in the middle order and bowl a few overs to fill the void left by Hardik Pandya’s unavailability to bowl due to fitness difficulties.

Washington Sundar is the other allrounder in the team, having missed the T20 World Cup due to injury but recently proving his fitness in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Shreyas Iyer, who returned from injury as well, has now had a successful Test debut. Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel, the two possible all-rounders, are still recovering from injuries incurred during the Test series against New Zealand. Kuldeep Yadav, the Pandya twins Hardik and Krunal, T Natarajan (injured), and Shubman Gill were left out of India’s last full-strength ODI team, which faced England in March. Deepak Chahar and Ishan Kishan were able to get access.

India also played an ODI series in Sri Lanka between the England series and this one, but it was a second-string team since the main squad was in England for the World Test Championship final and the Test series against England. In Sri Lanka, Shikhar Dhawan led the team and kept his spot, while Prithvi Shaw did not. Ruturaj Gaikwad, who was a member of that team but did not play, has been retained for the South African series.