India is all set to tour South Africa for a Test and ODI series, starting December 26. The BCCI have not yet named the squads for the series. However, if reports are to be believed, then Shikhar Dhawan is likely to be named in the ODI squad. The southpaw’s brilliant record in the 50-over format coupled with his huge amount of experience might be one of the factors for the 35-year-old’s likely return to the format.
A report in the Times of India also stated that Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara are likely to retain their spots in the Test squad. The selectors are ready to give the senior players a longer rope. However, the duo will know that quite a few youngsters are breathing down their necks. Shreyas Iyer managed to grab his chances in the recent two-match series against New Zealand. He scored a century and half-century in his debut Test.
Hanuma Vihari has performed well in India A tour of South Africa. Rahane and Pujara need some runs under their belt against South Africa to keep their Test careers alive. Both players are key members of the Indian middle order but of late have struggled to notch consistent scores. Rahane’s good record in overseas conditions might have prompted selectors to give him another chance. Reports suggest that he might lose vice-captaincy.
The tour was in serious doubt after the emergence of the new variant of COVID-19, Omicron. However, BCCI decided to go ahead with the tour after assurance from the South Africa foreign ministry. The T20Is, that were part of the tour, however, will now be played later.