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MS Dhoni returns to captain India for South Africa series

Chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil rubbishes reports about MSD’s removal from captaincy in limited overs cricket

Bangalore: India named yesterday uncapped all-rounder Gurkeerat Singh in the one-day squad for the first three matches against South Africa which will also see veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni return to captain the side.

Also Read: Gurkeerat, Aravind earn India call for series against South Africa

MS Dhoni. Pic/Getty Iimages
MS Dhoni. Pic/Getty Images 

Singh, 25, who has impressed with both the bat and the ball in the Indian junior side, replaced Ravindra Jadeja while leg spinner Amit Mishra came in for seamer Dhawal Kulkarni.

Dhoni, who retired from Test cricket during a disappointing tour of Australia last year, returns to lead the ODI and T20I squads, after Virat Kohli led India to a Test-series victory in Sri Lanka this month.

Also Read: MS Dhoni is my role model: Gurkeerat Singh Mann

The selectors said they did not consider changing the limited-over captaincy, quashing speculation of any retirement by the Indian wicketkeeper-batsman from the shorter formats of the game.

"We have not discussed anything about captaincy of ODIs. We are very happy in the manner Dhoni has led the side and we have total backing for Dhoni during the upcoming series," chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil said.

Sandeep Patil
Sandeep Patil 

Dhoni (34), who won the World Twenty20 on his captaincy debut in 2007, has scored 8,620 runs from 265 ODIs at an average of 52.24.

Also Read: Rohit Sharma practising seam bowling ahead of South Africa series

Opener Shikhar Dhawan, recovering from a hand fracture, is included in both squads. For the three T20 internationals, selectors picked uncapped Karnataka seamer Sreenath Aravind, who has played 41 first-class matches.

Fast bowler Mohammed Shami, undergoing rehabilitation for a knee injury he suffered during the tour of Australia, was not considered for either squad.

The teams for the remaining two one-dayers and the four-Test series will be named later.

India's squad for SA series

T20 internationals
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, Stuart Binny, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Axar Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Mohit Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Sreenath Aravind, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra

One-day internationals
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, Stuart Binny, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Axar Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Mohit Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Amit Mishra

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