The Indian cricket team might opt for some Vijay Hazare Trophy stunners as most key players are likely to miss the South Africa tour due to injuries
The Indian cricket team is currently facing a fitness hurdle as most of its key players are likely to miss the upcoming South African tour due to injuries.
The three ODIs against South Africa are scheduled to begin on January 19 in Paarl. The second and the third match will take place on January 21 and 23 in Paarl and Cape Town, respectively.
Rohit Sharma’s fitness status is awaited
The selectors are waiting for the new white-ball captain Rohit Sharma’s fitness report before deciding on the team. The test vice-captain had suffered a hamstring injury before flying off to South Africa. He is currently healing at National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.
Apart from Rohit, clarity about the fitness status of Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and Shubman Gill is awaited too. In case the new ODI captain is not available, KL Rahul will lead the team.
It is unlikely that Indian selectors will take any risk and opt for fit players due to the cramped international calendar ahead. Therefore, the current situation will likely open space for new and young players to show their talent against the African pacers and all-rounders.
Young faces might be on board
The selectors of the Indian cricket team might include the Chennai Super Kings opener Ruturaj Gaikwad. The Maharashtrian cricketer had scored a hundred in four out of five matches in Vijay Hazare Trophy. Another name that is doing rounds is Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) Venkatesh Iyer.
All-rounder Iyer had an eventful IPL this year. He is credited with KKR’s superb performance in Dubai. Iyer had smashed 50 off just 31 deliveries in the IPL finals against the meanest pair of Deepak Chahar and Josh Hazlewood. He might be a substitute for injured Hardik Pandya.
Veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan’s inclusion remains dubious without Rohit’s absence. Rishi Dhawan, the dark Himachali horse with 458 runs from eight matches at an average of 76.33 and 17 wickets at an economy of 6.00 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy triumph is the best possible inclusion.
Off-spinner Ashwin’s return to the ODIs is expected to add some sparks in the last overs. His spectacular recent T20 performance is the main contributing factor to his return. Head coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit, are learnt to include the off-spinner in their plans for the World Cup 2023.
Also, if Jadeja misses the tour, Yuzvendra Chahal might get a chance in playing XI.