Ahmedabad: Bruised and battered in New Zealand, India's ODI squad on Sunday got a major boost as a fit-again Hardik Pandya returned for the three-match series against South Africa, having successfully recuperated from a back surgery.
Along with Pandya, opener Shikhar Dhawan and seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar will also add depth to the 15-member squad, selected under the chairmanship of Sunil Joshi.
However, it could be curtains for veteran Kedar Jadhav as Shubman Gill's return in the white-ball fold is a good enough indictor.
Vice-captain Rohit Sharma is yet to fully recuperate from his calf muscle injury and is expected to return to action during the Indian Premier League later this month.
Thus, Prithvi Shaw retained his place in the ODI squad, while Mayank Agarwal, after a dismal New Zealand tour, had to make way for Dhawan.
India's ODI squad:
Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Virat Kohli (C), KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Shubman Gill.
The Mumbai duo of Shardul Thakur and Shivam Dube paid for their shoddy showing in New Zealand as Pandya and Bhuvneshwar rightfully got their places back.
Dhawan had dislocated his shoulder during the final ODI against Australia at home and missed the New Zealand series.
Bhuvneshwar, on the other hand, had a sports hernia surgery but has successfully completed his rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy.
Pandya's last ODI was against New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final in Manchester and the last international game was a T20 against the Proteas in Bengaluru in September.
The three ODIs will be played in Dharamsala (March 12), Lucknow (March 15) and Kolkata (March 18).