India recall Raina for New Zealand ODIs

Suresh Raina
(Reuters Photo)

India’s national selectors on Thursday recalled veteran batsman Suresh Raina in a 15-member squad for the first three one-day internationals against New Zealand beginning later this month.

Raina, 29, who last played in October 2015, was overlooked for India’s one-day series against Australia at the start of the year and against Zimbabwe in June.

“We brought in Raina because he also offers a good bowling option,” M S K Prasad, India’s new chairman of selectors, told reporters in New Delhi.

The left-handed Raina has scored 5,568 runs from 223 ODIs while taking 36 wickets.

Key spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were rested as was paceman Mohammed Shami for the first three ODIs, keeping in mind India’s long home season ahead.

Medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, nursing a back strain, was also left out.

The 26-year-old Kumar played a key role in India’s 178-run win in the second Test against the Kiwis this week which helped the hosts take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. The third and final Test will be played in Indore from Oct 8-12.

Paceman Umesh Yadav was brought back into the ODI team after missing the Zimbabwe tour.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has retired from Tests, returns to take the helm of the one-day side, ranked fourth in the world behind third-placed Kiwis.

The first of the five ODIs against New Zealand will be held in the northern hill town of Dharamsala on October 16.

The remaining matches will be played in New Delhi (Oct 20), Mohali (Oct 23), Ranchi (Oct 26), and Visakhapatnam (Oct 29).

Squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey, Jayant Yadav, Axar Patel, Suresh Raina, Jasprit Bumrah, Kedar Jhadav, Mandeep Singh, Amit Mishra, Dhawal Kulkarni, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya.