SA vs IND: Sanjay Manjrekar names India’s playing XI for first ODI, excludes Shikhar Dhawan

SA vs IND: Sanjay Manjrekar names India’s playing XI for first ODI, excludes Shikhar Dhawan

Ravichandran Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are the other notable absentees.

Sanjay Manjrekar
Sanjay Manjrekar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After a hard-fought Test series, South Africa and India will cross swords in a three-match ODI series, starting from January 19 (Wednesday). The opening clash takes place at the Boland Park in Paarl, and all the eyes are on India’s playing XI. With the likes of Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami being unavailable, the team management requires some brainstorming to select the initial XI.

Speaking on this regard, former Indian batter Sanjay Manjrekar has selected his line-up for the opening game. Interestingly, he overlooked the likes of Rututraj Gaikwad and Shikhar Dhawan, and backed all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer to open alongside skipper KL Rahul. Manjrekar wants six bowlers in the line-up and hence, Venkatesh was selected at the top.

Venkatesh Iyer should open alongside KL Rahul: Sanjay Manjrekar

“My main obsession was fitting that sixth bowling option. Hence, Venkatesh Iyer comes into the plan,” Manjrekar said in a video posted by ESPNcricinfo. “Shikhar Dhawan can be rested for this match,” he added. The middle-order pretty much picks itself up with former skipper Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav being next in the line-up.

At number seven, Manjrekar went with Jayant Yadav, who made his lone ODI appearance back in 2016. He’s followed by Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal and new vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah. Speaking of the other notable absentees, Manjrekar hasn’t included off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Meanwhile, it must be noted that India have lost the preceding Test series 1-2. Team India would be gutted with their performance as they won the opening Test by 113 runs. However, the Dean Elgar-led side bounced back and clinched the next two matches. However, ODI cricket is a different-ball game and the Men in Blue would fight for redemption.

The opening game will mark KL Rahul’s maiden assignment as ODI captain and the batter would be raring to make a mark. Notably, India last toured South Africa back in 2018 and walked away with a 5-1 triumph in the ODI series. Hence, the visiting team would be raring to replicate its heroics.

Sanjay Manjrekar’s India’s Playing XI: KL Rahul (Captain), Venkatesh Iyer, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Jayant Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah (VC)