Wasim Jaffer names India's playing XI for first ODI against South Africa, picks Shardul Thakur as all-rounder

Wasim Jaffer names India’s playing XI for first ODI against South Africa, picks Shardul Thakur as all-rounder

No place for Venkatesh Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad.

Wasim Jaffer
Wasim Jaffer. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Team India will fight for redemption as they take on South Africa in a three-match ODI series. The action gets underway with the opening match on Wednesday (January 19) at the Boland Park in Paarl. Having lost the preceding Test series 1-2, the visiting team would be gutted and must leave no stones unturned to turn the table in the ODI series.

It must be noted that the opening clash will mark KL Rahul’s first assignment as India’s white-ball captain. While Jasprit Bumrah has been named Rahul’s deputy, former skipper Virat Kohli will offer his services as a player. With Rohit Sharma being unavailable due to a hamstring injury, there’s a certain void in the top order. Also, it would be interesting to see how the lower-middle order and bowling attack would look like.

Opining on the same regard, former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer took to Twitter on Tuesday (January 18) and named his playing XI for the opening game. On expected lines, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli occupied the first three slots in Rohit’s absence. He picked Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav in the middle order while Rishabh was named the wicketkeeper.

Shardul Thakur picked as all-rounder

Now, the batters pretty much pick themselves up and Jaffer didn’t do much tinkering either. The tricky part was picking the next five. Interestingly, Jaffer slotted Shardul Thakur at number seven, giving him the all-rounder’s role. It must be noted the squad has Venkatesh Iyer in the ranks, who enjoyed a sensational run in the domestic season last year.

However, Jaffer found Shardul better for the job. Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal are the spinners in Jaffer’s line-up. While vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah will lead the bowling attack, Jaffer has a toss-up between pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Siraj for the remaining slot. Meanwhile, India’s last ODI assignment in South Africa saw them recording a 5-1 triumph in 2018. Hence, the Men in Blue would fight to replicate their heroics.

Wasim Jaffer’s India’s Playing XI: KL Rahul (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar/ Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah (VC)