Suresh Raina staged a comeback to the Indian ODI squad while Haryana off-spinner Jayant Yadav was the lone new face in India’s 15-member team for the first three games of a five-match series against New Zealand starting October 16.
Raina, who had been rested from the ODI series against Zimbabwe in June, returns to the fold while senior off-spinner R Ashwin, pacer Mohammed Shami and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja were given a break.
Medium pacer Jasprit Bumrah, batsman Mandeep Singh and Kedar Jadhav were included in the squad announced by new Chairman of selectors M S K Prasad after a meeting of the committee here.
The team, to be captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, retained batsman Manish Pandey, while paceman Umesh Yadav was brought back into the team after missing the Zimbabwe tour.
The Indian team for the ODIs is a clear reward for those that did well with India ‘A’. And clearly Ashwin/Jadeja will play Test cricket only— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 6, 2016
The team had no place for left-handed opener Gautam Gambhir, who had forced his way back into the Test team after some solid knocks in the domestic circuit.
Prasad said Gambhir’s name was discussed but “we needed continuity and we groomed Mandeep as an opener. He did extremely well against Australia A Down Under.”
The selection committee chief said that the trio of Ashwin, Shami and Jadeja was rested keeping in mind the long home season that awaits India, during the side is scheduled to play 13 Test matches. All three are regulars in India’s Test squad.
Happy to see @ImRaina back. Always go back to class. Also, 6th bowler in Indian conditions. And hopefully clear mandate for Rahane as opener— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 6, 2016
The first match of the series will be held at Dharamsala (October 16), followed by games in Delhi (October 20), Mohali (October 23), Ranchi (October 26), and Visakhapatnam (October 29).
Yadav, who has played a total of 42 first-class matches, has 117 wickets to his credit at an average of 29.70.
The squad features seven specialist batsmen in a star-studded line-up that includes Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane among others.
Dhoni is the lone wicketkeeper in the side and lends strength to the batting down the order.
The pace attack features, apart from Umesh Yadav, the likes of Bumrah and Dhawal Kulkarni. Hardik Pandya will fill the all-rounder’s slot along with Axar Patel.
Leg-spinner Amit Mishra will spearhead the spin attack.
India Squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni(Capt), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Jasprit Bumrah, Dhawal Kulkarni, Umesh Yadav, Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav.