MSK Prasad led selectors committee named a 17-man squad, with 4 fast bowlers and 2 spinners. Hardik Pandya and Axar Patel were the all-rounders named in the team.
Surprisingly, Shardul Thakur earned a call-up despite not being included for the Sri Lanka series.
Veterans Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh continued to be ignored despite clearing yo-yo tests and overcoming fitness issues.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja too were ignored, as Kuldeep and Chahal were rewarded for their impressive ODI form.
Also, Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad made it clear that Mahendra Singh Dhoni is set to continue till the 2019 World Cup as some of the younger keepers, who have been tried, are not even close to the former Indian captain's level.
"I think MS Dhoni still remains the No 1 wicket-keeper in the world and day in and day out we have been saying this. In the current T20 series (against Sri Lanka), the stumpings he has effected and caught-behind he has taken are phenomenal," Prasad was effusive in his praise.
"There is no comparison and I don't see any wicket-keeper, who can even come closer to him in world cricket, leave alone Indian Cricket," his statement more or less sealed the fate of all young keepers till the 2019 World Cup.
After the completion of the three Test series in South Africa, India will play ODIs at Kingsmead, Durban (Feb.1,day/night), at SuperSport Park, Centurion (Feb.4), at Newlands, Cape Town (Feb.7, day/night), at New Wanderers, Johannesburg (Feb.10. day/night), at St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth (Feb.13, day/night) and at SuperSport Park, Centurion (Feb.16, day/night).
India Squad for SA ODIs: Kohli (c), Rohit, Dhawan, Rahane, Shreyas, Pandey, Kedar, Karthik, Dhoni (wk), Hardik, Axar, Kuldeep, Chahal, Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah, Shami, Shardul
First Published: December 24, 2017, 8:23 AM IST