Mumbai: The Indian selectors on Tuesday announced a 16-member strong Indian squad that will take on the mighty South Africans in a five-match one-day international series and a one off Twenty20 game.
The one off Twenty20 game will be played at Durban on January 9, which will be followed up by the ODI series that begins on January 12.
Chawla`s inclusion means that selectors want to check out what`s in store in the slow bowling department after their experiments with Ravindra Jadeja hasn`t exactly paid rich dividends.
Also surprising was Parthiv Patel`s non-inclusion in the ODI squad after the player scored back-to-back half centuries against New Zealand being given chance in shorter form after six and half years. There is no second wicket-keeper in the team.
Among the ones who are with the Test squad currently, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Jadhav and Jaydev Unadkat will be boarding a flight back home.
In-form Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan also returned to the side to bolster India`s batting department after sitting out of the Test matches.
The Indian pace department will be spearheaded by Zaheer Khan, who missed the first Test against South Africa due to an injury.
S Sreesanth also managed to retain his place in the fast bowling department which will have Ashish Nehra, Praveen Kumar and Munaf Patel.
In the spin department, Harbhajan will share the honour with Ravichandran Ashwin.
All-rounder Jadeja has been left out of the team, while Yusuf, who impressed during the home series against New Zealand, has been retained.
Middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma and Saurabh Tiwary, both of whom played in the ODI series against New Zealand, also failed to make the cut.
The squad comprises six batsmen, one wicketkeeper in Dhoni, one all-rounder in Yusuf and eight bowlers – five quicks and three spinners.
The entire team is as follows:
MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, R Ashwin, Yusuf Pathan, Piyush Chawla, S Sreesanth, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel
With just the South Africa series to go before the World Cup, this might well be the final squad that the Indian selectors go ahead with out of the 30 probables selected last week.