Surprisingly, Suresh Raina who played his last T20 for the country against England in February last year has set back his way into the T20I team against South Africa this year. The BCCI confirmed the return of this middle-order batsman for T20 series against the Safaris on 28th January.
Along with Raina, Mumbai seamer Shardul Thakur was called into the team and Shreyas Iyer was sacked out from this series.
Seamer Jaydev Unadkat, who was declared the highest paid Indian player for IPL 2018 was among the 16 men of the Indian team.
Raina, who was out of form since last year after his failure in the YO-YO test, has reportedly cleared the test making his return to the team easier. He cleared this test before the announcement of the team for ODI series against South Africa.
This Uttar Pradesh star player was in good form since clearing the test and was an active player in the T20 format. He stood as sixth highest scorer and UP’s top scorer in Syed Mustaq Ali tournament with 314 runs, which ended recently. He made the highest score of 126 runs not out against Bengal at a strike rate over 146 in this series along with two half-centuries.
Shikhar Dhawan, who was out of the team at rest for previous T20I series against SriLanka that took place in last December was among the 16-men squad for T20 series against South Africa that is going to commence at Johannesburg on 18th February 2018.
Some of the players who were dropped out of the team for this series are Washington Sundar, Shreyas Iyer, Basil Thampi, Mohammed Siraj and Deepak Hooda.
Virat Kohli, who was given a break for T20 series against Sri Lanka will lead the team for series against South Africa.
India is going to play a six one day International series against the Safaris after losing the test-match series to the host team by 1-2. The three T20I series will start this February. The first match will be held at Johannesburg on 18th Feb, the second match at Centurion on Feb 21st, and the last T20 at Cape Town on 24th February, tentatively.
Final Indian team for T20I series
Virat Kohli (the captain), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Rohith Sharma, Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni(wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, Yuzvendra Chahal ,Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuwaneswar Kumar, Axar Patel, Shradul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav and Jaydev Unadkat.