When the MSK Prasad-led selection committee announced that R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja had given rested for the ODI and T20I series against Sri Lanka in Sri Lana early this year, it came as a regular decision and no surprises were involved.
But who would have thought that the series would mark a start to their exile in limited-overs format?
Both of them are yet to make a comeback to the limited-overs side and have been confined to just Test format. Jadeja though was called-up for an injured Axar Patel for first three ODIs against Australia but did not play. The continued performances shown by Yuzvendara Cahal and Kuldeep Yadav have not let selectors miss Jadeja and Ashwin,
“With every game, they have been improving a lot. They should be given an extended run since they are doing very well. It is a unanimous decision. When we picked these three boys, we wanted to increase the bench strength in the spin department,” said MSK Prasad after the announcement of ODI squad.
Through this, he cleared that Ashwin and Jadeja will continue to remain on the sidelines until the time Chahal and Kuldeep perform. One of the senior spinners was expected to make a comeback in the team considering in mind that none of Kuldeep, Axar or Chahal has travelled to South Africa with the Indian team, but selectors resisted the decision.
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It will be interesting to see whether our spin trio could deliver at that stage or not, as there might be the case when only one spinner- chances of Chahal looks maximum – will play and in that scenario, he will have the extra responsibility to take wickets. Chahal is expected to lead the spin attack as he provides the wicket-taking option.
Kuldeep though has a surprise factor in him, but it has been Chahal who had impressed in recent times. The performance of the spinners will be the most highlighted thing on tour, and if they do not deliver, Jadeja and Ashwin could well make a comeback.
The performance of Ashwin and Jadeja in the Test series will be one of the things to watch out, and there will be a battle for supremacy between Test and ODI spinners during the series.
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