New Delhi:Pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, who missed the first two matches due to a injury, on Thursday returned to the Indian team for the next three games of the ODI series against New Zealand while the selectors decided to rest batsman Suresh Raina and pacer Sreesanth ahead of the upcoming South Africa series.
The selectors announced two separate teams for the third ODI in Baroda on Saturday and fourth and fifth matches of the series in Bangalore and Chennai on December 7 and 10 respectively
Gautam Gambhir has been retained as the captain of the side for the next three matches, BCCI Secretary N Srinivasan said in a press release after a meeting of the selection committee here.
Even though the selectors have called back Zaheer, they have decided to prolong the rest period of four senior players -- regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh, who were not considered for the first two matches due to injury concerns.
Zaheer makes his way into the team in place of in-form Sreesanth, who has picked up an impressive seven wickets in the first two ODIs and has been rested ahead of the upcoming South Africa series.
Zaheer missed the third Test against New Zealand and the first two ODIs of the five-match series after sustaining a groin injury during the second Test in Hyderabad last month.
Left-arm pacer Ashish Nehra, who was a late induction in the team for the first two ODIs after Praveen Kumar was down with fever, has also managed to retain his place in the side for the next three matches alongwith Praveen.
However, wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha, who retained his place for Baroda match, will hand over the gloves to Parthiv Patel in the last two matches, while R Ashwin will make way for Rohit Sharma.
India lead the five match ODI series 2-0 against New Zealand.
Indian team for third ODI in Baroda: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Sourav Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, R Vinay Kumar.
Indian team for the fourth and fifth ODIs in Bangalore and Chennai: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Sourav Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Parthiv Patel (wk), R Ashwin, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma.