Kanpur: Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has been drafted into the Indian ODI squad after Ravichandran Ashwin suffered a side strain during the opening game of the five-match series here on Sunday.
Harbhajan, who was part of the T20 squad for the three-match series, was left out for the ODIs but the Punjab-born player got a lucky call-up after Ashwin could bowl only 4.4 overs at Green Park.
Ashwin's availability in the remainder of the series will be subject to medical assessment. "Ashwin has sustained a left side strain type injury during the first Paytm one-day international against South Africa at Green Park, Kanpur on 11th October 2015. After making a detailed assessment of the injury, the BCCI medical team will confirm the time frame required for Ashwin to fully recovery from the injury," the BCCI said in a release.
NEWS ALERT: R Ashwin has suffered a side strain injury. Harbhajan Singh has been added to India's squad for Paytm ODI series against SA.— BCCI (@BCCI) October 11, 2015
"Harbhajan Singh has been included in the Indian squad, and will join the team before the second match of the series in Indore," the release added.
India lost the T20 series 2-0, with the last game being washed off at Eden Gardens. Ashwin stood out with 4 wickets in two T20 games amid a mediocre show by the Indian bowlers.
The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side, which is looking for a turnaround after being outplayed in the shortest format, will be dealt a severe blow if Ashwin sits out of the remainder of the series.