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South Africa vs India 2021: Ravichandran Ashwin Set To Return To The ODI Squad – Reports

Ravichandran Ashwin-Rohit Sharma
Photo Credit: (BCCI)

Veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who recently made comeback in white-ball cricket after four years during T20 World Cup is set to be handed an ODI berth by the Chetan Sharma-led selection committee. Ashwin last played an ODI game in June 2017.

Ashwin’s performance in the T20 World Cup as well as in the two home T20Is against New Zealand last month had also impressed India’s new white ball think-tank – skipper Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid – who have started planning for the 2023 World Cup, to be held in India.

Ashwin’s chief competition for the spinners’ role, Ravindra Jadeja, still has fitness issues, however, Axar Patel, apparently, has recovered. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal might be back in the squad, too.

Ravichandran Ashwin’s expected return is not the only big call to be taken by the selection committee members who – barring two – are currently in Jaipur to watch the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy between Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh on Sunday (December 26). As per reports in Cricbuzz Venkatesh Iyer, who hogged the headlines since his breakout performance in the UAE leg of the IPL 2021, is likely to get the selectors nod as a probable backup for Hardik Pandya, who has been troubled by injuries of late.

Will Shikhar Dhawan make a comeback to the India squad?

Shikhar Dhawan-Aakash Chopra
Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

The selectors will have to rack their brains over veteran opener, Shikhar Dhawan, who last played an ODI series in Sri Lanka in July. The southpaw was the skipper but has since then Dhawan has been struggling for form In the ongoing Vijay Hazare trophy while playing for Delhi the southpaw failed to make any big score and has been facing stiff competition from the likes of Devdutt Paddikal and Prithvi Shaw who have been doing well.

While Maharashtra and Chennai Super Kings opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, who is in the form of his life will inevitably be in the squad having won the Orange Cap with 635 runs helping his team CSK lift the IPL 2021 title. Gaikwad continued his run-scoring spree in the ongoing Vijay Hazare trophy Scoring 603 Runs at an average of 150.75, including four centuries in five games

Adding to the selectors’ dilemma is the presence of KL Rahul, another opener, and Rohit Sharma, if fit. The selectors are understood to be waiting on Rohit’s fitness report after he missed the South Africa Tests because of hamstring issues. If unavailable, the panel will have to name a stand-in captain too.

The three ODIs between India and South Africa are scheduled to take place on January 19 (Paarl), 21 (Paarl), and 23 (Cape Town).

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