Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma rested as India announce squad for T20I series against South Africa

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced Team India’s squad for the upcoming T20I series against South Africa on Sunday (May 22). A number of senior players have been rested from the series which will be played following the conclusion of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022.

Captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and senior pacer Jasprit Bumrah have all been rested from the T20I series and will be travelling to England for the one-off Test against the hosts. In Rohit’s absence, KL Rahul has been appointed as the captain of the Indian team for the T20I series against the Proteas.

While the senior players have been rested, star all-rounder Hardik Pandya is all set to make his comeback post a big layoff following India’s disappointing show at the T20 World Cup 2021 last year. Hardik has been excellent as captain for Gujarat Titans in IPL 2022 and has also started bowling regularly which made his return to the team inevitable.

Apart from Hardik, veteran wicket-keeper batter Dinesh Karthik will also be making his comeback for the Indian team for the first time since 2019. Karthik has been in the form of his life for RCB this season and has played numerous finishing cameos for his team to earn a recall to India’s T20I squad.

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Maiden call up for Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh

Umran Malik has been one of the finds of IPL 2022. The Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) speedster has impressed many with his raw pace and ability to trouble the best of the batters. Umran has been consistently clocking over 150 kmph this season and also holds the record for bowling the fastest delivery in IPL 2022.

He was touted by many to make the cut in India’s squad for the South Africa T20Is and has deservingly made the cut along with Punjab Kings (PBKS) pacer Arshdeep Singh, who has also been impressive throughout the season. The left-arm fast bowler has been excellent in death and has been garnering praise with his performances in the IPL for quite some time now.

While Umran has 21 wickets in 13 matches for SRH this season, Arshdeep has managed 10 wickets in 13 games for Punjab Kings so far this season. There were reports that Lucknow Super Giants pacer Mohsin Khan can also be in the fray for selection after his impressive show but he has not been picked by the Chetan Sharma-led selection panel.

Along with skipper Rahul, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan are the other two openers in the side. Hardik and Venkatesh Iyer are the all-rounders along with in-form Deepak Hooda, who has been among the runs for Lucknow in IPL 2022. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will spearhead the pace attack and will have the likes of Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Umran and Arshdeep for support in the absence of Bumrah.

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India’s T20I squad for South Africa series – KL Rahul (Capt), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(VC) (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Y Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, R Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik