India on Sunday recalled batsman Suresh Raina to their Twenty20 squad for the three-match series against South Africa next month.
In a recently announced Indian side Raina, who hasn’t played for India since February last year, managed to find a place ending his almost a long year break from international cricket.
His last appearance for India was against England in a Twenty20 International. His continuous failure in yo-yo test — a fitness test for Indian cricketers — was the reason behind him getting ignored for multiple tournaments.
Since clearing the test, Raina has been in prime form in the shorter version of the game. He was UP’s highest run-scorer, and sixth overall, in the just-concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament with 314 runs. He had the best score of 126 against Bengal and also scored two fifties at the tournament scoring with a strike rate of over 146.
Shikhar Dhawan, who pulled out his name from India’s squad due to personal reason against Sri Lanka in last T20I series, retains his spot in the side. Kohli, rested during the home series against Sri Lanka, has returned to lead the side.
The Indian selectors have shown faith on young spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav ahead of Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Ajinkya Rahane fails to make it to India’s limited-over squad yet again.
After losing the Test series 1-2 to South Africa on Saturday, India will now play a six-match ODI series against the hosts. The T20Is will played in Johannesburg (February 18), Centurion (February 21) and Cape Town (February 24).
Indian Twenty20 Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur