MSK Prasad reveals why Jasprit Bumrah was selected

India tour of South Africa 2018

India tour of South Africa 2018

The first Test will start on January 5 in Cape Town, the second Test will be played in Centurion on January 13, and the final Test match of the series will be played in Johannesburg on January 24.

Also returning to the squad is wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel, who will serve as a back-up to the front-line option of Wriddhiman Saha.

Full Squad: Virat Kohli (Capt), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Parthiv Patel, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah.

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The frontline pace attack includes the likes of Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Bumrah.

Hardik Pandya is the only genuine all-rounder while Parthiv Patel, after his gutsy show against England previous year, booked his tickets for South Africa. It was a unanimous choice and we had no doubts about that. The pacer, who has been an indispensable part of India's limited-overs team, has staked his claim for a position in Test team with his control and consistency, and the pacer picked himself with his performances in the limited-overs, according to the chief selector MSK Prasad.

Left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav has been left out of the squad and Prasad insisted that the decision had more to do with the conditions expected in South Africa.

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Chinaman Yadav missing out on a Test nod was "unfortunate", according to Prasad. No team from Asia has ever won a Test series in South Africa, and Virat Kohli's men would be keen to buck the trend.

"Otherwise, Kuldeep is definitely a top-class bowler and over a period of time we'll see him growing".

The squad features three uncapped players in Washington Sundar, Deepak Hooda and Basil Thampi.

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Rohit Sharma will take charge for the shortest format of the game as Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar are included in the batting line-up along with former skipper MS Dhoni.

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