Wasim Jaffer picks India's playing XI for 1st ODI vs SA; leaves out Ruturaj Gaikwad

Wasim Jaffer picks India's playing XI for 1st ODI against South Africa
Wasim Jaffer picks India's playing XI for 1st ODI against South Africa
Ankush Das

With a day left for the ODI series between India and South Africa, former cricketer Wasim Jaffer has picked his Indian playing XI for the 1st ODI. The contest will take place on January 19 in Paarl.

Jaffer, who is known for his sharp technical acumen, showed trust in veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan ahead of the in-form Ruturaj Gaikwad for the opener's slot. According to him, Dhawan should partner captain KL Rahul at the top of the order.

He also left out all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer, who is seen as a potential replacement for the injury-prone Hardik Pandya. Taking to Twitter, Wasim Jaffer wrote:

"My Indian team for first ODI: 1. KL (C), 2. Shikhar, 3. Virat, 4. S Iyer, 5. Pant (WK), 6. Surya, 7. Shardul, 8. Ashwin, 9. Bhuvi / Siraj, 10. Chahal, 11. Bumrah."
My Indian team for first ODI:1. KL (C) 2. Shikhar3. Virat4. S Iyer5. Pant (WK)6. Surya7. Shardul8. Ashwin9. Bhuvi / Siraj10. Chahal11. Bumrah What's yours? #SAvIND

Gaikwad's exclusion comes as a surprise as he finished as the highest run-scorer in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. The opener from Maharashtra, who has been in scintillating form since the IPL 2021, scored 603 runs in five matches at 150.75, including four centuries.

Meanwhile, Dhawan, who last played an international game in July, has been short of runs in the recent past. He managed only 56 runs in five matches in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

According to Jaffer, Virat Kohli, who was recently sacked as ODI captain, should hold his No. 3 position. He will be followed by Shreyas Iyer, wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant and Suryakumar Yadav at No. 6.

Wasim Jaffer picks Shardul Thakur as all-rounder

๐‡๐ž๐š๐๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž ๐Ÿ“ธ ๐Ÿ“ธA snippet from #TeamIndia's headshots shoot ahead of the ODI series against South Africa. ๐Ÿ‘Œ ๐Ÿ‘Œ#SAvIND

The 43-year-old Jaffer settled for Shardul Thakur for the all-rounder's slot due to his ability to wreak havoc with the ball. Thakur was part of the playing XI in the Test series and is used to conditions on offer in South Africa.

Wasim Jaffer picked Ravichandran Ashwin, who returns to the ODI set-up after a long gap, as the off-spinner while Yuzvendra Chahal will be the leg-spinner. He also named Jasprit Bumrah as the leader of the pace attack. Jaffer believes either Mohammed Siraj or Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be his new ball partner.

This will be India's first ODI under new head coach Rahul Dravid, who will look to get off to a winning start as preparations for next year's ODI World Cup begin.

Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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