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India retain same ODI squad

 MOHALI, Oct 20 (PTI): Pacer Ishant Sharma retained his place despite his struggle for form as India today named an unchanged squad, which played in the first three ODIs, for the remaining four games in the seven-match series against Australia.

Under-fire Ishant had a forgettable outing in the third ODI here last night as he gave away 30 runs in one over to tilt the match in Australia’s favour, but he still figured in the 15-member squad named by the selectors.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had, however, hinted that Ishant could retain his place when he said he would like to give struggling players a longer rope.

Not only Ishant, who has conceded 189 runs for two wickets in the three matches for an economy rate of 7.87, the other two pacers – Bhuvneshwar Kumar and R Vinay Kumar – have also been found wanting, especially in the death overs.

Though Bhuvneshwar’s economy rate of 5.37 is the best among the three pacers, he has taken just one wicket in the three matches while conceding 145 runs. Vinay Kumar has taken five wickets but at the same time has given away 191 runs for an economy rate of 7.20.

The other pace options in the squad are Mohammed Shami and Jaydev Unadkat, both of whom have not been given a chance in the series yet.

All the batsmen in the squad, except for Yuvraj Singh, have been among runs and thus retained their places.

Comeback man Yuvraj scored 7 and 0 in the two innings he has played so far, besides the 77 not out in the one-off Twenty20 International and the selectors might have retained him considering his experience and ability to single-handedly win matches on his day.

The squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt and wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Amit Mishra, Ambati Rayudu, Mohammad Shami, Jaydev Unadkat.

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