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India leave out Dhoni for South Africa T20Is, Pandya returns

MS Dhoni will not be a part of the Indian team for the upcoming three-match T20 series against South Africa at home while a fit-again Hardik Pandya is the only change in the 15-member squad that white-washed the West Indies.

Dhoni opted out of his team's tour of the West Indies to serve the Territorial Army for 15 days.

The 38-year-old wicketkeeper took a two-month sabbatical following the conclusion of the World Cup, where he fared poorly with the bat and faced criticism for his conservative approach.

Dhoni's future in international cricket continues to be clouded in uncertainty with youngster Rishabh Pant being groomed as the first-choice gloveman in the former skipper's absence.

Meanwhile, India have recalled Pandya at the expense of paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has been rested as part of the workload management strategy by the selectors.

Jasprit Bumrah remains sidelined from the squad in a bid to keep him fit for the three Test matches that follow the limited-overs fixtures.

Navdeep Saini, who impressed in India's outing in the West Indies, will be joined by Khaleel Ahmed and Deepak Chahar to form a rather inexperienced pace attack.

The selection committee has also rested the spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal to instead provide chances to Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar and Rahul Chahar.

The first T20I will be held in Dharamsala on September 15 with the final match of the series expected to take place a week later.

India squad

Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini