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Dhoni absent, Hardik back in India's T20 squad for South Africa series

Dhoni absent, Hardik back in India's T20 squad for South Africa series
FILE PHOTO: Cricket - India v Australia - India Team's Practice Session - Indore, India – September 23, 2017 – India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni bowls in the nets. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo -
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Adnan Abidi(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Indian wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was a notable omission in the Twenty20 squad announced on Thursday by the country’s cricket board (BCCI) for next month’s three-match series against South Africa.

Dhoni sat out India’s ongoing tour of the West Indies as he was set to discharge his responsibilities as an honorary colonel in the army with patrol duties in conflict-torn Jammu and Kashmir.

There had been speculation he might retire after struggling in the recently concluded World Cup in England where India were knocked out in the semi-finals.

Except for the inclusion of all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who replaces fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the squad is unchanged from the team that won the T20 series 3-0 in the Caribbean.

India play South Africa in Dharamsala (Sept. 15), Mohali (Sept. 18) and Bengaluru (Sept. 22).

India’s squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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