On expected lines, Team India has rested spin dup Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for the upcoming five-match ODI series and solitary T20I against Sri Lanka, starting August 20. Along with them, the selectors have also rested fast-bowlers Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami.

The call of omitting Ashwin and Jadeja, which might surprise many, looks quite a clever one. The spinners had bowled in tandem during the marathon 2016-17 home season.  Ashwin had bowled a staggering 738.2 overs while Jadeja had sent down 717.2 overs. In the ongoing Test series against Sri Lanka too, the duo have been used heavily by skipper Virat Kohli. In the first two Tests, Jadeja and Ashwin bowled 108.2 and 108.3 respectively and played integral roles once again to help India win both the games. Jadeja is suspended for the ongoing third Test in Pallekele but Ashwin is spearheading the spin attack.

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Considering the heavy workload over the past one year, the rest is much-needed for India’s star spinners. Moreover, the series in Sri Lanka will be followed by a busy home schedule once again and India would be keen to have their spin duo at the peak of their fitness. The upcoming season at home will have 3 Tests, 13 ODIs and 11 T20s—between September and December before the team leaves for South Africa in January.

Ashwin and Jadeja’s absence, nevertheless, can be a blessing in a disguise as the team management will be able to test the bench strength. The likes of Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have not been able to cement their spots in the playing eleven because of Ashwin and Jadeja’s consistent performances and would be keen to make the most of the opportunity.