Raina makes a comeback to Indian ODI team for NZ series

Suresh Raina, who had been rested from the ODI series against Zimbabwe in June, returns to the fold even as senior off-spinner R. Ashwin, pacer Mohammed Shami and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja have been given a break.

Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni , India v New Zealand ODI series squad 2016 home series

Suresh Raina has found his way back into the Dhoni-led Indian ODI team.   -  K.R. Deepak

Suresh Raina returned to the national team for the first three One-dayers, to be played against New Zealand, in the list announced by the BCCI here on Thursday.

The new chairman of the selection committee M.S.K. Prasad fielded the questions on Raina’s return as well as about other topics, with aplomb.

Suresh Raina’s fine performance in the Duleep Trophy was deemed good to get him a recall, as the need was for an experienced all-rounder to bolster the relatively young team.

Stating that a few players were rested considering the long season ahead which will have a further 10 Test matches, Prasad said that the performances of the young players were kept in mind while selecting the team.

Conceding that former opener Gautam Gambhir was also discussed for a possible recall, the chairman mentioned that injuries to leading players like Shikhar Dhawan also forced the selectors to probe the possibilities of including Murali Vijay.

Prasad was particularly impressed with Hardik Pandya and said that he had the first hand experience of noting that the lad had the ability to rise to the occasion.

Being a wicket-keeper, Prasad was categorical that the look-out was for a good wicket-keeper who could bat well, and not the other way around. He said that Sanju Samson was in the radar of the selectors.

He also praised Mandeep Singh by saying that he batted extremely well. The performance of the team will be monitored before the selectors choose the squad for the last two One-dayers against New Zealand.

India Squad: Mahendra Singh 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.