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India name replacements for injured stars for South Africa series

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India have named replacements for Mohammad Shami and Deepak Hooda, who will miss the three-match T20I series against South Africa.

The BCCI in a statement revealed that both Hooda and Shami will miss the three matches against the visitors. Hooda has been ruled out with a back injury, while Shami is yet to recover from COVID-19. Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have also reported to the NCA for rehab work. 

The Indian selectors have brought in pacer Umesh Yadav, batter Shreyas Iyer and all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed as their replacements. 

Shami also missed the 2-1 T20I series victory against Australia and was replaced by Yadav for the three matches. Yadav played in the first match in Mohali, which India lost. 

The series will also be a big opportunity for Iyer, who is on the reserves list in India's T20 World Cup squad. A good series will push him into the reckoning to make the cut in the squad, in case a batter gets injured. 

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Ahmed was previously drafted in the Indian squad for the ODI tour of Zimbabwe in place of the injured Washington Sundar. Though yet to make his international debut, Ahmed has been drafted in on the back of his impressive performances in the IPL as well as domestic cricket. 

The three matches against the Proteas will be of vital importance to India, with it being their final international series before the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia. The three matches will be played between 28 September and 4 October in Thiruvananthapuram, Guwahati and Indore. 

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India squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Shahbaz Ahmed.

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