India’s new selection panel, led by MSK Prasad, sat down together for the first time today and picked India’s 15-member squad for the first three ODIs of the five-match ODI series against New Zealand, which starts later this month.
India’s ODI skipper MS Dhoni is back to lead the side which has two new faces in Jayant Yadav and Hardik Pandya. KL Rahul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shikhar Dhawan, who sustained injuries in the ongoing Test series, have not been included in the squad.
Mandeep Singh, Dhawal Kulkarni, Kedar Jadhav and Jayant Yadav have been rewarded for their consistent performances in the domestic circuit with a national call-up.
India's spin twins R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been rested for the series keeping in mind the long home season. Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav and Amit Mishra get a place in the team as the spinners while Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Dhawal Kulkarni are the three frontline pacers. Not surprisingly, Mohammad Shami has been rested.
Hardik Pandya, who was a part of the Indian T20 team for the World T20, makes it to the 15 as well.
A lot of eyes were on Yuvraj Singh, as the southpaw was expected to be a part of the squad after undergoing a fitness test at NCA last week. Unfortunately for him though, he couldn't find a place in the team. The selectors have instead recalled Suresh Raina for the first three ODIs, as they needed an experienced middle-order batsman in the squad to back Dhoni.
Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane are likely to be the openers with Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina and skipper MS Dhoni completing the middle order. It is almost certain that India will go in with two spinners in the XI and those are likely to be Amit Mishra and Axar Patel. It will be interesting to see whether Hardik Pandya will be making his ODI debut or not, with Dhawal Kulkarni, Umesh and Bumrah being the frontline pacers in the team.
It was also surprising to see the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal, Barinder Sran and Ambati Rayudu being left out of the team in spite of their brilliant performances in the ODIs against Zimbabwe. The five-match ODI series will begin on 16th October at Dharamsala.
Squad: MS 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.