Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik, who scored an unbeaten 50 against the West Indies in Kingston in July last, has been picked again.
After the ODIs, India and New Zealand will also play a three-match T20I series.
And India's celebrated spin twins - R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja - continued to be left out as well, as spin trio of Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel was retained. India will be playing their first ODI on October 22 at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
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"There is no particular reason [behind Rahul's omission] because Ajinkya [Rahane] has done well as an opener". The decision comes as a surprise as Jadeja hammered a classy 150 against Jammu and Kashmir in a Ranji Trophy match prior to the decision.
He also stressed the fact that the team management is trying to rotate the players and the inclusion of Karthik is the part of the process to find an ideal no. 4 for the team. We will see how it goes [as far as his batting position is concerned].
Also missing from the squad is Lokesh Rahul. With several middle-order contenders like Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav and Karthik, Iyer might have to wait a little longer. All three have been named in the squad that would take on New Zealand.