Nagpur: Gautam Gambhir will lead a young Indian team as regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been rested for the first two ODI matches against New Zealand.
Along with Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag have also been rested due to injury concerns. Both Tendulkar and Sehwag have a bit of shoulder problem and the Indian cricket board didn't find it wise to aggravate their injuries ahead of an important tour to South Africa.
However, nothing has been mentioned as to why Ashish Nehra, one of Indias's most consistent bowlers in recent times, doesn't figure in the ODI list. If sources are to be believed he is injured.
"M.S. Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh were not considered due to injury concerns, which require attention and rehabilitation," BCCI secretary N Srinivasan said in a statement.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Nehra, who were part of the squad for the ODI series against Australia last month, were left out, while wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Yusuf Pathan and S Sreesanth were recalled to the sqaud.
Wriddhiman has been rewarded for his brilliant 178 not out against Assam in the just-concluded Ranji Trophy match. Murali Vijay will open alongside Gambhir in the absence of Sehwag and Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, the very experienced Yuvraj Singh and Saurabh Tiwary will comprise the middle-order.
The spin department consists of R Ashwin, Pathan and Ravindra Jadeja.
The pace bowling department will be spearheaded by S Sreesanth and supported by R Vinay Kumar, Munaf Patel and Praveen Kumar.
The selection committee also named the Test team for the series against South Africa where Wriddhiman will be going as Dhoni's understudy.
The team for the series against South Africa has five pacers including Zaheer, Ishant and Sreesanth along with young Jaidev Unadkat and Vidarbha pacer Umesh Yadav.
Team for first two ODIs against New Zealand: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Sourav Tiwary, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), R Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, R Vinay Kumar, Munaf Patel, S Sreesanth, Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja.
Team for Test Series against South Africa: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, S Sreesanth, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha, Jaydev Unadkat, Umesh Yadav, Pragyan Ojha.