Hardik returns, Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar rested for South Africa T20Is

Hardik Pandya returns to the limited-overs set-up as India announces 15-member squad for the three T20Is against South Africa next month.

Hardik Pandya last played for India in 2019 World Cup.   -  AP Photo

All-rounder Hardik Pandya made a comeback into the Indian team as former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni did not figure in the 15-member squad for the upcoming three-match T20 series against South Africa.

BCCI senior selection committee chairman M.S.K. Prasad informed Sportstar that Dhoni was not considered as the panel preferred to give more chances to the young Rishabh Pant.

"We will focus on him for some more time," he said.

Prasad further stated that Dhoni is yet to responded to them about his plans. More than this, the chairman refused to provide any further details.

Dhoni, who had taken a two-month sabbatical from the sport, is currently vacationing in the United States, after having served the Territorial Army for 15 days.

Read: Ambati Rayudu to come out of retirement, represent Hyderabad

Meanwhile, Hardik was back in the team after being rested to treat his minor niggles as part of the workload management programme.

The squad is almost similar to the one that blanked the West Indies 3-0 in the previous series in the United States and the Caribbean.

Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the only player left out as a part of the workload management programme.

The first T20I will be played in Dharamsala on September 15, followed by the other two in Mohali (September 18) and Bengaluru (September 22).

Squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, K.L. Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini.

With inputs from PTI