A lot of eyes will be fixed on Suresh Raina as the left-hander makes a comeback to the India squad following almost a year away from the team. India face South Africa in the opening T20I of the three-match series at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday. Raina was seen sweating it out ahead of the opener but it remains to be seen whether the 31-year-old will be included in India's playing XI. Raina has been joined by KL Rahul and Jaydev Unadkat as the new additions to the Indian contingent for the T20I series. The trio had a two-hour net session at Centurion before the start of the sixth ODI.
Raina, Rahul and Unadkat were all seen working hard in the optional practice session with Mahendra Singh Dhoni also spending some time in the nets.
Raina's return is the most intriguing aspect of the T20 series from an Indian point of view. He hasn't played ODI cricket since 2015, and last featured in a T20I series twelve months ago against England. He scored 104 runs in three matches, including a half-century, but didn't bowl enough overs.
It did fuel aspirations of a possible return to the ODI set-up with the Champions Trophy in sight, but the selectors ignored him despite scoring 442 runs in the 2017 IPL for Gujarat Lions.
His continued absence from the T20I set-up during the 2017-18 home season raised eyebrows but it was revealed that he had missed the now obligatory 'Yo-Yo' fitness test and hence missed out on selection.
He cleared that test in December and finished sixth on the runs chart (314 runs in 9 matches inclusive of one hundred and two half-centuries) for Uttar Pradesh during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
(With PTI Inputs)