Uncapped Bengal seamer Mukesh Kumar and prolific domestic performer Rajat Patidar on Sunday earned their maiden India call-ups for the upcoming three-match ODI series against South Africa, starting October 6 in Lucknow. (More Cricket News)
Mukesh, a prolific red ball bowler for Bengal, had performed just at the right time, emerging as top wicket-taker in first class games against New Zealand 'A' and followed that up with another stupendous show in the Irani Cup.
The 28-year-old quick had taken nine wickets in the three matches against New Zealand 'A', besides snapping 20 wickets for Bengal in the Ranji Trophy this year.
He also emerged as the wrecker-in-chief for Rest of India in the ongoing Irani Cup with a four-wicket haul which broke the back of the Saurashtra batting in Rajkot on Saturday.
Patidar, a stylish hitter, on the other hand, has scored centuries in IPL play offs, in the Ranji Trophy final and in "Tests" against New Zealand 'A' in the last three months.
The 29-year-old from Indore gained prominence after slamming a sizzling 112 not out for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL eliminator. He also scored a 58 against Rajasthan Royals in the next match.
Switching to red-ball cricket, Patidar came up with scores of 85 and 79 against Punjab and Bengal respectively in knockout matches in the Ranji Trophy before slamming a decisive hundred in the Ranji Trophy final to guide Madhya Pradesh to the title.
His performance earned him a place in India A squad and Patidar grabbed the opportunity by producing two hundreds in the three four-day matches against New Zealand A. He also fired a quick unbeaten 45 to help India A beat New Zealand A in the first one-dayer.
While Mukesh and Patidar will be the new faces, the Indian team would once again be led by ODI specialist Shikhar Dhawan, while Shreyas Iyer will be his deputy this time.
Shreyas and Deepak Chahar will link up with the T20 World Cup squad in Brisbane after the ODI series. They were named as stand-by players for the ICC flagship event. The team will train in Perth in first week.
The second and third ODIs of the South Africa series will be played on October 9 and 11 in Ranchi and Delhi respectively.
India Squad: Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubhman Gill, Shreyas Iyer (vice-captain), Rajat Patidar, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Shahbaz Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan, Mohd. Siraj, Deepak Chahar.