New Delhi: Suresh Raina on Thursday staged a comeback while Haryana off-spinner Jayant Yadav was the lone new face in India's 15-member ODI squad for the first three matches of the series against New Zealand starting on 16 October.
Raina, who had been rested from the ODI series against Zimbabwe in June, returns to the fold even as senior off-spinner Ravichandran 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 MSK Prasad after a meeting of the committee in New Delhi.
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 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 which the side is scheduled to play 13 Tests. All three are regulars in India's Test squad.
The first match of the series will be held at Dharamsala (16 October), followed by those in Delhi (20 October), Mohali (23 October), Ranchi (26 October), and Visakhapatnam (29 October).
India squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), 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.
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 and will be supported by Patel, a left-arm tweaker.
Published Date: Oct 06, 2016 07:32 pm | Updated Date: Oct 06, 2016 07:45 pm