By Vipul Kashyap
New Delhi, [India], May 23 (ANI): Former Indian team selector Sarandeep Singh said on Monday he was surprised by the selector's decision to not include senior players in the team announced for the T20 series against South Africa but noted that pace sensation Umran Malik can do wonders in the series.
Umran Malik got a maiden India call-up. The express quick bowler from Jammu picked up 22 wickets in 14 matches for SunRisers Hyderabad in this IPL season.
"Last year he bowled well but was not so consistent. But this year, he is more consistent and is bowling well too. Lastly, this player can do wonders against South Africa in both red-ball and white-ball cricket," Sarandeep Singh told ANI.
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have been rested for the T20I series. Dinesh Karthik, Kuldeep Yadav and Hardik Pandya make a comeback after their stupendous show in this season of IPL. The team was announced on Sunday.
"Was surprised that Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were rested for the series. And at this moment Virat Kohli is in very good form. So the selectors must have felt that other players should be given a chance," Sarandeep Singh said.
"And there are some other players who have been performing well in IPL for the last two years. I think they should get a big opportunity to play before World Cup so that we have other players ready so that if the senior player gets injured, the junior can take his place."
The former Indian team selector was a little surprised that Rahul Tripathi, who had a great IPL 2022 season, did not get a place in the squad.
"A little surprise, I felt that Ruturaj Gaikwad got a place in the team but Rahul Tripathi did not. The season did not go so well for Ruturaj," he said.
The selection committee on Sunday named India's squad for the South Africa ODI series. KL Rahul will lead the team and wicket-keeper batter Rishabh Pant will be the vice-captain for the five-match T20I series against South Africa starting June 9. (ANI)