The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the squad for the first three matches of the upcoming five-match ODI series against New Zealand, which starts on October 16. As expected, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was present during the meeting on Thursday, will lead the side, which also includes Suresh Raina.
Some key players such as Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami have been rested for the first three matches.
KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan, who were both injured during the ongoing Test series, have been left out of the squad. They could be picked for the final two ODIs. Hence, India could open the innings with Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane in the first three matches, but they also have the option of Mandeep Singh, who has not played a single ODI, to open the innings if required.
However, there was bad news for Yuvraj Singh's fans. The left-hander has been ignored by the selectors, who have shown faith in younger players like Manish Pandey and Mandeep.
Hardik Pandya has been picked as the all-rounder alongside Axar Patel. With Ashwin and Jadeja rested for the series, the selectors have decided to go ahead with Jayant Yadav and Amit Mishra as the regular spinners in the squad. Ashwin has always been a huge bowler for India, and it remains to be seen how effectively Mishra shoulders responsibility in the ODIs.
Seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been ruled out of the third Test, and has not been named for the ODI series. Umesh Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, and Jasprit Bumrah will shoulder the bowling responsibility in the pace department.
India have already clinched the ongoing Test series after winning the first and second Test, and the current squad chosen for the ODI series looks strong as well. But, New Zealand have always been a strong team in the ODI format, so they cannot be taken lightly.
India squad for three ODIs: MS Dhoni (c, wk), 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 and Kedar Jadhav.