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Deepak Hooda has been ruled out of the three-match T20I series between India and South Africa starting on Wednesday. The 27-year-old allrounder has a back injury and has not travelled with the team to Thiruvananthapuram, where the first game is scheduled to take place.
Hooda only made his international debut in 2022, but has been a regular presence in India's squads. His ability to score quick runs and provide a few overs of part-time offspin were seen as assets in terms of balancing the XI. But when India had access to all of their first-choice players - which they did in the recent T20I series win over Australia - he was pushed down to the bench.
Shami too is part of that squad, though only as a reserve. The selectors felt the 2022 IPL-winning seamer had enough experience to rock up cold and still perform, although now he may have to do so with no cricket behind him since July 2022.