Smith released from ODI squad to focus on upcoming Test series against India

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Smith has failed to score a half-century in his last eight ODIs

South Africa captain Graeme Smith has been released from the ODI squad in order to focus on the upcoming two-Test series against India, which gets underway on December 18.

Smith has not scored a half-century in eight innings and as a result, he was not included in the ODI squad for the first ODI against India in Johannesburg, which South Africa won by a convincing margin of 141 runs.

“[Graeme] Smith has returned to Cape Town to focus on his Test match preparation ahead of the two-match series against India starting in Johannesburg on December 18,” Cricket South Africa said in a statement. “Smith is still part of the squad, and will re-join the squad if there is an injury.”

Meanwhile, Cricket South Africa also revealed that pace bowler Vernon Philander had sufficiently recovered from a shoulder injury he sustained in a training session prior to the first ODI.

“Vernon Philander has recovered from his shoulder blade strain and is available for selection for the second ODI at [the] Sahara Stadium [in] Kingsmead on Sunday, but Imran Tahir remains a 50/50 call,” the statement said.