India Announces Squad against SA
India Announces Squad against SA

India Announces Squad against SA | IND tour of SA 2023

In a seismic shift for Indian cricket enthusiasts, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, and Jasprit Bumrah have staged a remarkable comeback to the Indian Test squad, gearing up for the upcoming two-match series in South Africa. The squad, led by the dynamic Rohit Sharma, has some notable surprises and omissions, keeping fans on the edge of their seats.

Rahane Ousted, Kohli Returns: Squad Dynamics Unveiled

The exclusion of Ajinkya Rahane, the vice-captain during the West Indies tour earlier this year, raises eyebrows. However, the return of Virat Kohli, who opted out of the white-ball leg of the tour, injects experience and leadership into the squad. The BCCI release announcing the squad intriguingly notes that Mohammed Shami’s inclusion is subject to fitness, as the fast bowler is currently undergoing medical treatment.

Squad Shuffle: Rahul as Wicketkeeper, Bharat Omitted

With KL Rahul stepping up as a wicketkeeping option, the squad witnesses a strategic shuffle. However, this adjustment comes at the cost of KS Bharat, one of two keepers in the West Indies. Until that tour, India had favored Bharat over Ishan Kishan, showcasing the competitive nature of squad selection.

Notable Omissions and Inclusions: Squad Analysis

Fast bowlers Jaydev Unadkat and Navdeep Saini find themselves left out, while Mukesh Kumar, who made a memorable debut during the West Indies series, retains his place. The return of Bumrah, who last played a Test over 17 months ago, adds a potent weapon to India’s pace attack. Since recovering from a back injury, Bumrah showcased his prowess across white-ball formats, culminating in a stellar performance at the 2023 World Cup.

Iyer’s Return, Rahane’s Absence: Middle-order Dynamics Unveiled

Shreyas Iyer’s return to Test cricket after a prolonged injury layoff creates a compelling narrative, overshadowing Rahane’s omission. The latter’s stint as Test vice-captain during the Caribbean tour in July seemingly failed to secure his spot, with indifferent performances of 3 and 8 in subsequent innings.

Rising Star Jaiswal Set to Open: Squad Dynamics Unveiled

Yashasvi Jaiswal, the breakout star with a memorable hundred on Test debut in the West Indies, is expected to open alongside Rohit Sharma. Shubman Gill retains his position at No. 3, maintaining the team’s batting order continuity from the Caribbean tour. Ruturaj Gaikwad, surpassing Abhimanyu Easwaran as the reserve opener, solidifies his place in the squad.

India A Squad: Easwaran’s Opportunity, New Faces Introduced

Abhimanyu Easwaran’s inclusion in the India A squad for the four-day games against South Africa A presents an opportunity for him to strengthen his credentials. The selectors have strategically introduced Delhi fast-bowling all-rounder Harshit Rana, Karnataka seamer Vidwath Kaverappa, and Rajasthan left-arm spinner Manav Suthar based on their stellar domestic performances.

Series Schedule and WTC Implications

India’s two Tests in South Africa, scheduled for Centurion from December 26 and Cape Town from January 3, mark a crucial phase in the 2023-2025 cycle of the World Test Championship. Following their victorious 2-0 series in the West Indies in July, the Indian team returns home to host England for five Tests, contributing to their WTC cycle.

Flashback to 2021-2022: India’s Last Test Series in South Africa

The memories of India’s last Test series in South Africa during the Covid-19 pandemic in December and January 2021-2022 linger. India clinched the first Test in Centurion, only for South Africa to bounce back in Johannesburg and Cape Town, ultimately securing the series 2-1.

Squad Announcement: The Final Squads:

The selected squad for the South Africa series comprises Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan (wk), KL Rahul (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah (vice-capt), Prasidh Krishna.

India A Squad:

The India A squad for the first four-day match includes Sai Sudharsan, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Devdutt Padikkal, Pradosh Ranjan Paul, Sarfaraz Khan, KS Bharat (C)(wk), Dhruv Jurel, Shardul Thakur, Pulkit Narang, Sourabh Kumar, Manav Suthar, Prasidh Krishna, Akash Deep, Vidhwath Kaverappa, Tushar Deshpande.

For the second four-day match, the India A squad consists of Sai Sudharsan, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Tilak Varma, KS Bharat (C)(wk), Dhruv Jurel (wk), Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Harshit Rana, Kuldeep Yadav, Manav Suthar, Akash Deep, Vidhwath Kaverappa, Navdeep Saini.

We wish Indian Cricket Team the very best and hope as well as pray that the team returns victorious.