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    MS Dhoni Returns as Ashwin and Jadeja Rested for First Three ODIs

    File image of MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli during the World T20.

    File image of MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli during the World T20.

    Dharamsala: Key spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are being rested for the first three matches as is paceman Mohammed Shami who is building up his fitness after a long lay-off.

    Medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, nursing a back strain, was also left out of the squad along with veteran Ishant Sharma who missed the whole series after contracting the mosquito-borne disease chikungunya.

    Uncapped off-spinner Jayant Yadav, left-arm spinner Axar Patel and medium-pacer Jasprit Bumrah have instead been given the chance to impress after being named in the squad.

    And India's batting line-up has been weakened by the loss of veteran Suresh Raina with a viral infection and the opener Shikhar Dhawan, who has a broken thumb.

    Mahendra Singh Dhoni will return to lead the side, meaning Test captain Virat Kohli goes back into the ranks, his confidence high after hitting a career best 211 against the Black Caps last weekend.

    Dhoni, whose last significant ODI innings was an unbeaten 92 against South Africa in October 2015, needs a strong showing to silence critics who say it's time for Kohli to take over in short-form cricket as well.

    India reclaimed the top spot in the Test rankings after clinching the series against New Zealand but they are only ranked fourth in the ODI league table, one place behind their visitors.

    Dhoni's men were outplayed by the Black Caps in their last ODI series, losing 4-0 in New Zealand in 2014.

    Squads

    India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey, Jayant Yadav, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Kedar Jhadav, Mandeep Singh, Amit Mishra, Dhawal Kulkarni, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya

    New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captian), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Anton Devcich, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Matt Henry, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, Tim Southee