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India retain Rohit, Dhawan for NZ series

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/09/2016 Sudipto Ganguly

India have retained batsmen Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma for their three-Test series against New Zealand starting in Kanpur later this month.

Rohit, 29, is an automatic choice in India's limited-overs sides but has failed to replicate that form in the five-day format, averaging 32.62 with the bat in 18 Tests.

He scored nine and 41 in the third Test in West Indies at Gros Islet and did not get a chance to bat in the final match of the series at Port of Spain, which was washed out.

Left-handed opener Dhawan's place was also under scrutiny after he was dropped for the fourth Test against West Indies following scores of 27, 26 and one in his three previous innings in the Caribbean.

The emergence of Lokesh Rahul, who was named in the 15-member squad, as an opener has put further pressure on Dhawan after the 24-year-old right-hander scored two hundreds and a fifty in four innings against West Indies in Tests and a Twenty20 international.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who also scored two centuries against West Indies after being promoted in the batting order, will lead India's slow-bowling attack, aided by leggie Amit Mishra and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja.

Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav were the three pacemen in India's squad.

Kanpur hosts the first match from September 22, followed by Tests in Kolkata (from September 30) and Indore (from October 8).

Squad: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Virat Kohli (captain), Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

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