Rahul, Shami, Umesh out; Karthik, Thakur included for NZ ODIs


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Dinesh Karthik returns to the One-Day International fold for the three-match series against New Zealand, the BCCI announced on Saturday (October 14). Shardul Thakur and Shikhar Dhawan were also included in the 15-man squad announced, while KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav were left out.

Karthik, who had last played a one-dayer for India in July earlier in the year against Windies, was not picked for the one-day series against Sri Lanka or Australia. He, however, was named in the T20 squad for the three-match series against Australia, but didn't get a game.

Dhawan, who missed the one-dayers against Australia, is back in the one-day squad, while Rahul faced the axe after a string of low scores against Sri Lanka and not having had game time against Australia.

Ajinkya Rahane, in Dhawan's absence, made the most of the opportunity and notched up four successive half-centuries, giving India the perfect start with Rohit Sharma at the top. With Dhawan back in the fray, India will face a headache over choosing their first-choice pair.

Another problem India will hope to address in the series against New Zealand is to finalise their number four. India's No.4 conundrum remains with contenders aplenty. Hardik was promoted to the spot that was touted to be Manish Pandey's. Hardik impressed, while Manish made the most of his chances down the order. Now with the inclusion of Karthik, another contendor joins the mix who could be tested and tried in the aforementioned slot after Rahul failed to make an impact.

No Test bowling starts

None of India's Test bowling stars find a spot in the ODI set up. There are no spots in the squad for Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, R Ashwin or R Jadeja, with Shardul Thakur finding favour alongside the four front-line bowlers who played against Australia - Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah, Chahal and Kuldeep.

Shami and Umesh got just the one game against Australia in Bangalore but were unable to retain their spots in the bowling setup.

Thakur, finds his way back in the fray, having made his one-day debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo recently. He missed out on the Australia series but did well India A in the series against New Zealand A in Vijayawada and forced his. way back in the side.

The first of the three ODIs will kick-off in Mumbai on October 22, followed by the second in Pune and the last in Kanpur.

SQUAD: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, 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.