All-rounder Hardik Pandya will miss India’s upcoming tour to South Africa as he continues his recovery from a left ankle injury sustained during the ODI World Cup match against Bangladesh on October 19. India’s multi-format tour to South Africa, comprising three T20Is, three ODIs, and two Tests, commences with the first T20I in Durban on Sunday, December 10.
Reports suggest Pandya will require an additional four weeks to regain full fitness, placing him in contention for the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan scheduled from January 11 to January 17. According to sources, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) intends to invite Rohit Sharma to rejoin India’s T20I squad and assume captaincy duties for the South Africa series.
If Sharma agrees, he will lead the Men in Blue in the 2024 T20 World Cup. However, if he declines, Suryakumar Yadav, the current captain for the T20I series against Australia, will continue to lead the team in South Africa.
— OneCricket (@OneCricketApp) November 30, 2023
“There remains a question about Hardik’s return, but the BCCI believes that if Rohit agrees to lead in T20Is, he should also lead in the T20 World Cup. If Rohit doesn’t agree, Surya continues as captain for T20Is in South Africa,” a BCCI source was quoted as saying by OneCricket.
The BCCI is expected to announce the white-ball squads for the South Africa tour on Thursday, November 30, while the Test squad announcement is likely in December.
Virat Kohli has reportedly opted for an indefinite break from white-ball cricket, effectively ruling him out of the T20Is and ODIs against South Africa. However, he is expected to return for the Test series, starting with the Boxing Day Test in Centurion on Tuesday, December 26.