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Suresh Raina ruled out of last two ODIs against New Zealand; India retain same squad

India will look to play the same XI in the final two matches of the series.

Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma
Suresh Raina hasn’t played a single ODI in 2016 so far

Indian all-rounder Suresh Raina will miss the remainder of the ODI series against New Zealand as he hasn’t recovered from the viral fever that ruled him out of the first three ODIs. No replacement has been named for the all-rounder and India will retain the same squad for final two ODIs.

Suresh Raina, who was recalled to the ODI squad to face New Zealand, after not playing in the format since October 2015, hasn’t played in the ongoing ODI series after he was diagnosed with viral fever before the first ODI at Dharamsala. He hasn’t recovered from it and also missed the crucial clash at Mohali, which India won to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match ODI series.

With Raina out of the picture, the squad for the final two ODIs will feature the same players who were picked for the first three ODIs which means no replacement has been named for the all-rounder, who will end 2016 without playing a single ODI as India aren’t scheduled to play another ODI following the New Zealand series until January 15.

The bigger worry for India, especially with openers, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul already out injured, was the fitness of Rohit Sharma, who looked to be in some pain after he was dismissed in the second ODI, which India lost by 6 runs. But the 29-year-old was declared fit for the third ODI and will play in the final two ODIs as well.

The opener’s availability for the third ODI was in doubt after he left the field in the eighth over in the second ODI after nicking behind to Luke Ronchi. Although the caught behind looked relatively straightforward, Rohit seemed to be in shooting pain as he immediately clutched his biceps before the medical staff took him away from the field.

India’s batting failed collectively as they failed to chase 243, a relatively modest total on a pitch that wasn’t offering a great deal of assistance to the bowlers. This defeat sandwiched in between two impressive performances in the first and third ODI, which saw them bundle out New Zealand cheaply in first one and chase expertly in the second.

India’s batting has been inconsistent so far this series but it has been the bowling that has stood out as they have managed to not only curtail the flow of runs, but also pick up wickets and set up the platform perfectly for the batsmen.

Squad: MS Dhoni (Capt), 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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