India in South Africa – Injured Mohammed Shami to miss Tests, Deepak Chahar unavailable for ODIs

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Mohammed Shami will miss the upcoming two-Test series in South Africa because of an ankle injury. Shami wasn’t part of the Test contingent that left for Johannesburg on Friday, and is currently under the watch of the BCCI’s National Cricket Academy. Deepak Chahar, meanwhile, will not be available for the ODI series in South Africa because of a “family medical emergency”.

While announcing the Test squad late last month, the BCCI had said that Shami was “currently undergoing medical treatment” and that his inclusion was subject to fitness. A BCCI media release on Saturday confirmed that Shami “was not cleared by BCCI’s medical team” and was subsequently withdrawn from the squad.

Shami last featured in a Test in June when he played the World Test Championship final against Australia. He was rested for the Caribbean tour that followed to manage his workload ahead of India’s busy white-ball season that ended with the 2023 ODI World Cup, where Shami topped the wicket-takers’ chart.

The selectors haven’t named a replacement for Shami. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Mukesh Kumar and Shardul Thakur are the other fast bowlers in the touring party.

As for Chahar, he also missed the T20Is in South Africa last week. Chahar made his comeback during the T20Is at home against Australia last month, but featured in just one game – the fourth game in Raipur – before flying home for personal reasons.

Akash Deep, who was earlier part of India’s Asian Games-winning squad, has been called up into the KL Rahul-led T20I squad.
In another update, Shreyas Iyer will leave the squad after the first ODI in Johannesburg on December 17 to prepare for the Test matches that will follow.

Iyer is likely to play the intra-squad three-day fixture in the lead-up to the Boxing Day Test. His last Test was against Australia in March, after which he was sidelined with a back injury. It’s likely Iyer will reclaim his middle-order spot, which had been occupied by Ajinkya Rahane in his absence.

India’s ODI contingent in South Africa will be coached by former Saurashtra captain Sitanshu Kotak, with Rahul Dravid and his team of Vikram Rathour (batting coach), Paras Mhambrey (bowling coach) and T Dilip (fielding coach) involved in preparing the Test squad for the two-match series, India’s second assignment in the new WTC cycle.

Kotak will be assisted by Rajiv Dutta (bowling coach) and Ajay Ratra (fielding coach) during the three-match series, before linking up with the India A squad for the second four-day fixture against South Africa A in Benoni.

India’s updated ODI squad: Ruturaj Gaikwad, B Sai Sudharsan, Tilak Varma, Rajat Patidar, Rinku Singh, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (capt, wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Akash Deep

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