The BCCI has announced the 15-man squad for India’s ODI series against New Zealand starting from the 22nd of October. National selectors have opted to give some big names a miss. For the third time in a row, India’s Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been ignored as selectors have opted for a younger crop. Ashwin and Jadeja who lead the charts in ICC test bowler and all-rounder rankings have been dropped since the Sri Lanka series. Despite the duo clearing the Yo-Yo fitness test, youngsters Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel have been given the task of leading the spin attack in their absence.
Opener KL Rahul has been dropped to make way for left-handed Shikhar Dhawan who is making a comeback after sitting out the ODIs against Australia. Rohit Sharma has been named vice-captain and Ajinkya Rahane finds a spot in the team after his commendable performance against the Aussies. Wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik and speedster Shardul Thakur have also been recalled into the squad. Karthik who last played for India during the tour of West Indies in July was also a part of the Champions Trophy squad and the recently concluded T20I series against Australia but did not get a game. Despite Karthik’s selection, MS Dhoni is likely to be the main man behind the stumps. Thakur was dropped for the series against the men from down under after a decent showing in Sri Lanka will replace Umesh Yadav for the battle against the Kiwis. Pacer Mohammed Shami has also been dropped.The pace attack will be led by Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar with all-rounder Hardik Pandya providing aid. India’s middle order will see Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya taking control of affairs.
India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma(vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur.