Former India pacer Atul Wassan believes Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are out of the race for a spot in the team for the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England.

Ashwin’s last One-day International came in June 2017 while Jadeja previously played an ODI in July same year. This was during the tour of West Indies.  Their last Twenty20 International too came on the same tour when they were part of the one-off match at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica. They were first dropped from the team for the limited-overs series in Sri Lanka. The selectors had reasoned ‘rest’ behind the spinners’ exclusion at that time.

However, the rest has been extended due to Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal’s consistent performance. Both the wrist spinners have done exceedingly well.

Ashwin & Jadeja Out Of 2019 World Cup Race, Reckons Atul Wassan
Jadeja and Ashwin have not played in ODIs since the West Indies tour last year (Credits: HT)

The Test specialists had failed to perform well outside India. On the other hand,  Chahal and Kuldeep have turned out to be exceptions.

They have done brilliantly in the ongoing series so far against South Africa. Both the spinners have picked up a staggering 30 wickets in the five matches so far. As a result, there has been widespread debate over Ashwin and Jadeja’s comeback in the limited-overs cricket.

“Well people might say diplomatically they have a chance, but I don’t see any chance unless one of Kuldeep or Chahal gets injured,” Wassan was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

Interestingly, India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun recently insisted that the “race is not over yet” for Ashwin and Jadeja. But on the other hand, skipper Virat Kohli has openly backed the wrist spinners.

Wassan further said that the team management should let Chahal and Kuldeep play around 50 matches in different conditions before the World Cup.

“The credit should go to the team management and Virat for backing India’s core strength – spin bowling in alien conditions. And here we have two wrist spinners who have delivered pretty well,” he said.

Ashwin & Jadeja Out Of 2019 World Cup Race, Reckons Atul Wassan
Chahal and Kuldeep have picked up 30 wickets in 5 ODIs against South Africa (Credits: BCCI)

“I think the management should now let these two play 50-60 games in different conditions before taking them to the World Cup. They have a big heart and aren’t afraid to flight the ball despite being belted for runs in the fourth game,” he added.

Commenting on whether India could have included either of the duo in the Test series, Wassan said: “In hindsight, they could have included one of the mystery spinners.

“One year back, no one would have thought Ashwin and Jadeja would have to fight for their place but that’s a healthy competition to have,” he added.

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