India has announced the squad for the first three ODIs in the five-match one day series against New Zealand. Notable inclusions are Suresh Raina and Amit Mishra. These two inclusions in the MS Dhoni captained squad had played in the one-day matches against South Africa at home last year. Mishra and Raina missed out in the Australia and Zimbabwe tours this year. With this addition, they seemed to have opened the gate for consideration in future matches.
With other in-form batsmen like Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul out of the reckoning because of injuries, the recently formed selection panel named Mandeep Singh as the opening partner of Rohit Sharma. The panel had also decided to recall all-rounder Hardik Pandya who hails from Baroda.
The selection panel, in a strategic move, has decided not to go with R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami. They have been given rest so that they can regain their fitness for the upcoming test series against England, Bangladesh and Australia. Dhawal Kulkarni has been selected as the third fast bowler for the ODI squad. With Bhuvneshwar Kumar ruled out of the Indore Test against New Zealand starting this weekend, the selectors have opted for Dhawal Kulkarni as the third fast bowler in the 15-man squad.
Seven players who were in Indian squad which had gone to play in the ODI series in Zimbabwe in June this year have been dropped. They are Ambati Rayudu, Faiz Fazal, Rishi Dhawan, Barinder Sran, Jaydev Unadkat, Yuzvendra Chahal and Karun Nair. From the same squad, the following players have been included- Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni and Jasprit Bumrah.
In a recent press meet, Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad justified the selection of Mandeep and Suresh Raina in the squad. He highlighted how Mandeep’s recent performance in the India A cricket team helped in India’s victory against Australia. He also pointed how Raina’s bowling experience can prove to be an edge for the team with several youngsters. According to Prasad, Mandeep has performed well in the small chances he got in India’s tour against Zimbabwe earlier this year. Mandeep also proved his credentials as an opener in the India A team in Australia. Prasad praised his performances against experienced players Kane Richardson and Marcus Stoinis. He said that Hardik Pandya was picked because he also was very impressive in “all formats” in Australia.
The current Indian squad announced for the first three ODIs in the five-match ODI series against New Zealand are: MS Dhoni (capt/wk), Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Mandeep Singh, Pandey, Suresh Raina, Kedar Jadhav, Jayant Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni and Amit Mishra.