India v NZ: ODI team to be selected on October 6

Suresh Raina’s fate hangs in balance as the newly-appointed selection panel led by M.S.K. Prasad picks the team for India’s forthcoming five-ODI series against New Zealand, starting in Dharamsala on October 16.

Raina has been a vital cog of India’s limited overs’ sides for a better part of the last decade, was dropped for India’s last limited overs’ assignment.   -  PTI

Suresh Raina’s fate hangs in balance as the newly-appointed selection panel led by M.S.K. Prasad picks the team for India’s forthcoming five-ODI series against New Zealand, starting in Dharamsala on October 16.

Prasad along with his fellow selectors will have to decide if the left-handed batsman deserves another chance during their first meeting, to be held in New Delhi on Thursday. The Uttar Pradesh batsman, who has been a vital cog of India’s limited overs’ sides for a better part of the last decade, was dropped for India’s last limited overs’ assignment. Despite the then selection panel, which included Prasad and Gagan Khoda, the other survivor from the previous committee, selecting largely a second-string squad for the tour to Zimbabwe in June, Raina wasn’t a part of the touring party.

With India set to play very little ODI cricket prior to the next year’s Champions Trophy, it would be interesting to see if Raina remains in the selectors’ plan for the ICC tournament. If Raina is ignored, Karnataka batsman Karun Nair, who made his international debut in Zimbabwe and has joined the Test team as injured Shikhar Dhawan’s replacement for the last Test in Indore, stands a good chance of retaining his place in the shorter format.

Dhawan, who injured his thumb while batting in the second Test in Kolkata, is all but sidelined for the ODI series as well. It will be interesting to see if the selectors rest R. Ashwin, the on-song offspinner who has emerged as a leading all-rounder. Ashwin has been bowling in the Test series despite a sore bowling finger. Considering that India will feature in ten more Test matches after the Indore Test this season, it won’t be a surprise if Ashwin is given time to recover before spinning his web around the England batsmen next month.

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