After the conclusion of limited-overs series against Sri Lanka, there were reports claiming that the leading ODI and T20I players of India might take part in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. However, it is now understood that the legendary wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni and young leg-spin sensation Yuzvendra Chahal have pulled their name out of the very tournament.
Middle order batsman Kedar Jadhav, who missed the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka owing to a hamstring injury, is also not participating the domestic T20 tournament and instead working on his fitness at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.
The Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer, who recently proved his mettle as a top class batsman in the ODIs and T20Is against Sri Lanka, is also learnt to be nursing a hamstring niggle and is currently spending his time at the NCA. Both Jadhav and Iyer have been selected for the limited-overs leg in South Africa, starting on February 1.
"The idea behind rescheduling this tournament was to have a good competition ahead of the IPL auctions which are scheduled on January 27. Now that these players are secured about their future, they can afford to take it a bit easy. The ODI and T20 teams for South Africa were named over a month in advance. Something which needs to be looked into. Fitness is primary ground of selection these days and if these players are injured, how can they be named without having recovered," a top BCCI official was quoted by TOI as saying.
While Dhoni had informed the Jharkhand team management last week to ignore him for the tournament, Chahal has not featured in a single domestic game for his state Haryana this season.
"This time we are told he got hurt in his finger while training and that's why he won't be a part of the Haryana team," a source close to the Haryana team told TOI.
After the conclusion of three-match Test series against South Africa, India are scheduled to play six ODIs and three T20Is against the Proteas in their turf.
India vs South Africa limited-overs itinerary:
Feb 01, 1st ODI – Kingsmead, Durban
Feb 04, 2nd ODI – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Feb 07, 3rd ODI – Newlands, Cape Town
Feb 10, 4th ODI – New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Feb 13, 5th ODI – St George's Park, Port Elizabeth
Feb 16, 6th ODI – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Feb 18, 1st T20I – New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Feb 21, 2nd T20I – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Feb 24, 3rd T20I – Newlands, Cape Town