With recent reports suggesting that Ravinchandran Ashwin might not get picked in the squad for the upcoming ODI series against Australia, India not only has to find an able replacement for the ace spinner but it will also give the team a chance to try out some other options.
Ashwin is currently playing for Worcestershire in the Division two of the English county and he has a four-match contract, of which only two matches are over so far. As a result, the selectors are reportedly mulling on not including him in the team for the first three games.
“Ashwin has a contract of four games for Worcestershire. If he is called back after two games only, then the purpose of sending him to get a proper county exposure is lost. It’s the team management and the selectors who decided that he should be playing county cricket,” a BCCI official privy to selection matter told PTI on Saturday.
Well, this can turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Team India. Ashwin has not featured prominently in the ODIs in the last couple of years due to his failure to replicate his Test performances in the 50-over format. And so, the team might try out some new players in the upcoming series. The likes of Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav played in Sri Lanka but the way the team has been experimenting, some new faces can be seen against Australia.
So here we are looking at 4 players who can be included in the squad for the upcoming series:
4. Shahbaz Nadeem:
The 28-year old left-arm spinner from Jharkhand has been a consistent performer in the domestic circuit. In 2015, he became only the sixth bowler to pick up 50 or more wickets in a Ranji Trophy season with 51 scalps. He continued that form in the last season too and was the leading wicket-taker with a staggering 56 wickets in just 10 games. Moreover, his exploits for the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL is a sign that he can do well at the highest level too.
Recently, he had impressed for India A on the tour of South Africa by taking 11 wickets in the two unofficial Tests.
3. Jayant Yadav:
Yadav is perhaps tailor-made for this format. He has already proved his mettle with some impressive performances in the Test series against England last year and the team can try him in the coloured jersey too. In his maiden season in the IPL, he only played three matches but showed he could be frugal, finishing with an impressive economy rate of 4.14. His batting ability will also be of much use lower down the order.
2. Washington Sundar:
Washington Sundar has been turning heads with his impressive performances in the last one year or so. The Tamil Nadu star first shot to limelight after playing an integral part in Tamil Nadu’s victorious campaign in the Vijay Hazare and Deodhar Trophy last year. He played a total of nine games in both the tournaments and ended with an outstanding economy rate of 3.93. Before that he had impressed during the inaugural season of Tamil Nadu Premier League, taking 11 wickets in nine games at an average of 12 and an economy rate of only 5.54.
He also made a big mark in this year’s IPL, taking eight wickets including the outstanding spell of three for 16 in the first qualifier against Mumbai Indians.
1. Amit Mishra:
One of the best spinners in the country for the last one decade or so, Mishra is probably the best option for the team right now. He was the highest wicket-taker in the five-match ODI series against New Zealand last year but has not featured prominently for the team since then. In fact, he did not even make it to the squad for the Champions Trophy, West Indies tour and the recently-concluded series against Sri Lanka. However, given his experience and ability, he can be a surprise inclusion in the team.