- Shahbaz Ahmed and Shreyas Iyer will be part of Indian team for the South Africa T20 series
- Deepak Hooda suffered back issue while Hardik Pandya has been rested for the series
- Mohammed Shami is also out of the South Africa T20I series
Shreyas Iyer and Shahbaz Ahmed have been added to the Indian squad for the upcoming home T20I series against South Africa. The news comes a day after Deepak Hooda suffered a back injury and was unavailable for selection against Australia in the third T20I, while Hardik was rested anyways for the South Africa series. Both Shreyas and Shahbaz will join the Indian squad at the latest by Tuesday with the first T20I taking place on Wednesday in Thiruvananthapuram.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) tweeted ahead of the final T20I against Australia that Deepak Hooda was not available for selection after he was suffering from a back issue. Hardik on the flip side was rested for the T20I series against South Africa along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Shreyas Iyer who is not part of the Indian side for the T20 World Cup now gets wildcard entry into the team after Hooda's injury. The extent of the injury is still unknown and whether he will be available for the T20 World Cup still remains in doubt.
"Shami hasn't recovered from his bout of COVID-19. He needs more time, and hence, will be out of the South Africa series. Umesh Yadav will continue as Shami's replacement for the South Afria series," a senior BCCI source told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
However, when asked why Shahbaz has been picked in place of Pandya, the source said, "Is there any seam bowling all-rounder, who can replace Hardik. Raj Bawa is too raw and that's why we kept him in India A for exposure. He will need time to blossom. Tell me another name?"
Meanwhile, Hanuma Vihari will lead Rest of India team in the Irani Cup against Saurashtra.
Shahbaz on the other hand will be part of the Indian team yet again, but will down the pecking order as tons of expereicned players sit ahead of him. He is yet to make his debut for the Indian side. He has repseented Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL).