IND vs SA ODIs – Rajat Patidar, Mukesh Kumar get first call in India for ODIs in South Africa

Batter Rajat Patidar and fast bowler Mukesh Kumar have received their first call-up to India for the three ODIs against South Africa. Shikhar Dhawan will lead the 16-man squad, while Shreyas Iyer has been named vice-captain.
The series kicks off in Lucknow on October 6, the same day the Indian T20 World Cup squad leaves for Australia for a preparatory camp. With the exception of Shreyas, Ravi Bishnoi and Deepak Chahar, who are part of India’s T20 World Cup campaign as reserves, none of the other players in the World Cup squad are part of the ODI series against South Africa.
Patidar’s roster completes a fairytale run to the India cap. He has been on top form since the IPL, where he scored 333 runs in eight innings for Royal Challengers Bangalore with an average of 55.50 and a strike rate of 152.75. A month later, in June, he scored a hundred in the Ranji Trophy final and helped upset underdogs Madhya Pradesh Mumbai. Patidar’s golden run continued last month in the A Series against New Zealand, where he was the top scorer for India in the red ball of the tour, with 319 runs in four innings including two centuries and a highest score of 176.
Mukesh, on the other hand, comes in with limited List A experience but an impressive first-class record with a five-wicket haul on India A debut against New Zealand A. He finished the unofficial three-match Test series as the joint highest wicket taker by nine wickets, and got his India call-up despite not having played the IPL. Mukesh was Bengal’s joint leading wicket-taker in the 2021-22 Ranji season with 20 wickets and was among their best bowlers in recent seasons.
The absence of World Cup tied Axar Patel and injured Ravindra Jadeja means another chance for Bengal’s left-turning all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed. He had his first stint with the Indian team during the Zimbabwe tour in July, but did not play a match. Shahbaz, like Patidar, has been impressive for RCB since joining them in 2020. In the past two years, he has also become a vital player for Bengal in various formats.
Gill, meanwhile, has a chance to build on his burgeoning white-ball credentials. He has scored three half-centuries and a career-best 130, his first international ton, in his last six ODIs for India. After the Zimbabwe series, Gill signed with Glamorgan for a short county stint and his most recent knockout was a century against Sussex in a Division Two match.

The ODI series is also an opportunity for Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson to overcome their disappointment at not being included in the World Cup roster. Just a year ago, Kishan was seen as India’s reserve opener and even played in the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE, but a disappointing IPL followed by a string of low scores for India has pushed him back up the pecking order. Samson, meanwhile, is coming off decent form for India A in the series he led against New Zealand A.

There are four changes to the ODI squad that traveled to Zimbabwe in August. KL Rahul and Axar Patel are part of the T20 World Cup side and are missing, while Deepak Hooda and Prasidh Krishna have nursing injuries.

India and South Africa will kick off the ODI series in Lucknow on October 6, before playing the second and third matches in Ranchi and Delhi on October 9 and 11. The series is part of the ODI Super League.

ODI team: Shikhar Dhawan (capt), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubhman Gill, Shreyas Iyer (vc), Rajat Patidar, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shahbaz Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan, Mohammed Siraj, Deepak Chahar

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