Raina recalled for NZ ODIs

Ugra: Picking Raina in India is a good bet (3:34)

ESPNcricinfo senior editor Sharda Ugra weighs in on India's squad for the first three ODIs against New Zealand (3:34)

India have rested R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami for the first three ODIs of the upcoming series against New Zealand, which starts on October 16. All three are key bowlers in the Test team, and the selectors have chosen to give them a break with India set to play 11 more Test matches in the 2016-17 home season.

Suresh Raina, who last played an ODI in October 2015, was recalled to the squad, while Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul were unavailable due to injuries.

This was the first India squad picked by the new selection panel chosen during the BCCI's annual general meeting on September 21.

In the absence of the three frontline bowlers and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was ruled out of the third Test in Indore with to a back strain, the team's seam options comprised Umesh Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya, while Amit Mishra, Jayant Yadav and Axar Patel made up the spin options. Like Raina, Mishra too had not played an ODI since October last year. MSK Prasad, India's chairman of selectors, said Raina's part-time spin was a factor in his recall.

India's previous ODI series was against Zimbabwe in June, for which the selectors had rested most of the senior players. Apart from captain MS Dhoni, seven players from that squad - Mandeep, Bumrah, Kedar Jadhav, Kulkarni, Manish Pandey, Axar and Jayant - were retained for the New Zealand matches.

Mandeep, Jayant and Pandya were yet to make their ODI debuts. The 24-year-old Mandeep enjoyed a good stint with the India A side during its recent tour of Australia, scoring 198 runs in six matches in the Quadrangular A-team series, including two successive fifties, one of which was a match-winning innings of 95 in the final against Australia A.

Jayant, the 26-year-old Haryana offspinner, played the two unofficial Tests on that tour, taking seven wickets at 22.57. Pandya, a regular member of India's T20 side, having played all their matches at the World T20 earlier this year, has not featured in the 50-overs side yet.

Raina was left out of India's ODI squads for the tours of Australia (December-January) and Zimbabwe, and also missed the two T20Is against West Indies in the USA. In between, he had a disappointing run of form in the Asia Cup and the World T20. In the Asia Cup T20s, Raina scored 39 runs in three innings, and followed that with 41 runs in four innings at the World T20. Before his exclusion from the ODI team last December, Raina had managed only one century in the format in 26 matches.