Hardik Pandya Returns Indian T20I Squad; But No MS Dhoni Return

India Tour Of South Africa 2019/20: Hardik Pandya Returns Indian T20I Squad; But No MS Dhoni Return

Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni
Indian national cricket team (Image Credit: Twitter)

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On Thursday (29th August), the national selectors have announced the 15-member T20I squad for the upcoming three-match home T20I series against South Africa. While Hardik Pandya has returned to the national squad, MS Dhoni has once again missed out the T20I side.

South Africa will tour in India to play three-match T20I series and three-match Test series against the hosts India. This tour will run from 15th September to 23rd October 2019. Later, South Africa will come again in India in March 2020 to play the three-match ODI series.

The selectors have almost maintained the same 15-member squad that travelled in the USA and West Indies in this August. Only the all-rounder Hardik Pandya has replaced the right-arm pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the upcoming T20I series.

Hardik Pandya hasn’t played since the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 semi-final

Since the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 semi-final defeat against New Zealand, Hardik Pandya was in the rest. Now, the 25-year-old has returned to the national squad. The younger Pandya played his last T20I on 10th February 2019 against New Zealand at Hamilton.

Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni
Hardik Pandya (Image Credit: Getty Images)

On the other hand, the former Indian World T20-winning captain and the present limited-overs wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni has once again missed out the T20I squad. Since the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 semi-final against New Zealand, Dhoni hasn’t played for the national team yet.

Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Google)

Rishabh Pant will continue his wicketkeeping role in the forthcoming home T20I series. In the last T20I against Windies at Guyana, Pant played the match-winning knock of unbeaten 65 runs off 42 balls.

Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni
Rishabh Pant (Image Credit: Getty Images)

India won their last T20I series against Windies in the USA and West Indies by 3-0 (three-match series).

On the other hand, South Africa have played only one T20I bilateral series against India, and that was in October 2015. South Africa won that three-match T20I series by the 2-0 margin.

India’s full squad for the upcoming T20I series against South Africa: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar and Navdeep Saini.

Full T20I series fixtures of the India tour of South Africa 2019/20

15th September 2019: First T20I – Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium (Dharamshala)

18th September 2019: Second T20I – Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium (Mohali)

22nd September 2019: Third T20I – M. Chinnaswamy Stadium (Bengaluru)

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