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MS Dhoni absent, Hardik Pandya back in India's T20I squad for South Africa series

Dhoni sat out India`s ongoing tour of the West Indies as he was set to discharge his responsibilities as an honorary colonel in the army with patrol duties in conflict-torn Jammu and Kashmir.

MS Dhoni absent, Hardik Pandya back in India's T20I squad for South Africa series
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Indian wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was a notable omission in the Twenty20 squad announced on Thursday by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for next month`s three-match series against South Africa.

Dhoni sat out India`s ongoing tour of the West Indies as he was set to discharge his responsibilities as an honorary colonel in the army with patrol duties in conflict-torn Jammu and Kashmir.

There had been speculation that he might retire after struggling in the recently concluded World Cup in England where India were knocked out in the semi-finals.

Except for the inclusion of all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who replaces fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the squad is unchanged from the team that won the T20I series 3-0 in the Caribbean.

India play South Africa in Dharamsala (Sept. 15), Mohali (Sept. 18) and Bengaluru (Sept. 22).

India`s squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini.