New Delhi, Mar 7: Karnataka's Robin Uthappa has been recalled to the Indian team to play a one-off Twenty 20 International against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on March 30. However, there is no place for Virender Sehwag in the squad announced on Wednesday.
Uthappa, who last played for India in October last year in a T20 against England, makes a comeback after performing in the domestic season. Yusuf Pathan is also back.
The Indian selectors ignored Sehwag, who was earlier rested for Asia Cup. MS Dhoni will lead the team while Virat Kohli will be his deputy in the 15-man squad.
The squad is the same which has been named for Asia Cup barring Sachin Tendulkar, who does not play T20 Internationals. His place has gone to Uthappa in the 15-man line-up.
Uthappa, who led Karnataka to South Zone one-day tournament, Vijay Hazare Trophy victory recently in Bangalore, was in fine form. He was Karnataka's captain during the team's victorious campaign. However, they lost to Mumbai in New Delhi in the all-India knockout tournament on Tuesday in the quarter-final stage. Uthappa blamed a poor pitch at the Feroze Shah Kotla for the defeat.
Indian team will play the Asia Cup in Bangladesh from March 11 to 22 and then travel to South Africa for this game. After returning from South Africa, Indian cricketers will get busy with Indian Premier League (IPL) which gets under way on April 4.
The lone T20 was planned well in advance as Cricket South Africa and BCCI had agreed earlier to organise a T20 which is likely to be named as 'Mandela Cup'.
Though its just a T20 International, Cricket South Africa sources indicate that this is an annual affair and India had played a T20 against SA at Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban last year as well, which happened to be a farewell for Makhaya Ntini.
Squad: MS Dhoni (Captain), Virat Kohli (Vice-Captain), Robin Uthappa, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Rahul Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Manoj Tiwary, Irfan Pathan, Ashok Dinda.