We're going to South Africa as No 1 team with best balanced side ever: BCCI selector MSK Prasad

BCCI announced 17-member Indian squad for the three-match Test tour of South Africa starting January 5, 2018

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on December 4 announced the 17-member Indian squad for the three-match Test tour of South Africa starting January 5, 2018. India’s best death over bowler in limited overs game, Jasprit Bumrah, received his maiden Test call. Besides Bumrah, wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel too was included in the 17-member squad.

Batsmen like Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina who are out of the Indian team for a quite while now due to fitness issues, were ignored again for the South Africa Test tour.

Announcing the squad, BCCI chairman of selectors MSK Prasad said the side was balanced for the tour.

It is the best possible side, we have covered all the departments and more importantly we are going to South Africa as number 1 Test team, everybody is in good form. On that basis I am saying that this is the best balanced side, I am sure this team will really do well.

On Bumrah being included in the squad, MSK said,

With regard to Bumrah if you see his performance for the past 10-12 months, he has been phenomenal. It’s a unanimous choice and he definitely adds variety.

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Commenting on chinaman Kuldeep Yadav’s absence from the squad, Prasad said,

Definitely feel unfortunate for Kuldeep Yadav but selecting him over the World No 1 & 2 bowlers (Ravichandran Ashwin & Ravindra Jadeja) won’t be fair.

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On ignoring World Cup 2011 hero Yuvraj Singh, who recently revealed that he cleared the Yo-Yo fitness Test, MSK said,

Yuvraj Singh has fitness issues. He has not played a lot of competitive cricket lately.

The team will leave for South Africa on December 27.

Test Squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Parthiv Patel, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.

Besides announcing the Test squad for South Africa tour, BCCI also announced the 15-member squad for T20I series against the Sri Lankans.

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Rohit Sharma will lead the 15-member squad in absence of Virat Kohli for the three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series against Sri Lanka, starting December 20.

The first match will be played in Cuttack, followed by Indore and Visakhapatnam.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya, who was rested for the ongoing three-match Test series against Sri Lanka, has been included in the T20I squad while Lokesh Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik and the veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni retain their places.

T20 squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Lokesh Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Basil Thampi, Jaydeep Unadkat.