Suresh Raina India
Suresh Raina has been excluded for the fourth and fifth ODI against New Zealand.IANS

The BCCI selectors have not made any significant change for the final two ODIs against New Zealand, but Suresh Raina, who has not played a single match due to viral fever, has been ruled out of the series. The fourth and fifth ODIs are set to be played in Ranchi (Wednesday) and Visakhapatnam (Saturday).

"The All-India Senior Selection Committee has decided to retain the same 14-member squad for the remaining two matches of the five-match Paytm ODI Trophy against New Zealand.
Suresh Raina is still to regain his full fitness and has been ruled out of the remainder of the series," BCCI said in a statement.

This news of Raina's exclusion was quite unfortunate as he has not played any ODI cricket in the last 12 months. He was expected to play an important role in the middle order for India during the New Zealand ODI series, but with the batsman failing to regain fitness, it prompted the selectors to rule him out of the ODI series.

With Raina's exclusion, one would have thought that the selectors might have replaced him with a batsman, but they did not name any replacement. As a result, there are only 14 members in the India squad for the last two matches in the series.

India presently lead the five-match ODI series 2-1, after winning the third ODI with incredible performances from captain MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli on Sunday. The Men in Blue can wrap up the fifty-over series with a win in the fourth ODI, which will allow MS Dhoni to give players like Mandeep Singh, who has not played a single match in the series, a chance to perform.

Squad: MS Dhoni (c), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Jasprit Bumrah, Dhawal Kulkarni, Umesh Yadav, Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav.

 

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