Leading Indian spin bowling all-rounders R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have neither been ‘dropped’ nor ‘rested’, they are only being ‘rotated.’
A senior official involved in the selection process of the Indian team told Sportstar on Tuesday that the continued omission of Ashwin and Jadeja was not due to lack of performance. He said, “We all respect what Ashwin and Jadeja have accomplished so far. But, we need to look at the future and are seeking more variety in the attack.”
Ashwin has 150 ODI scalps with his off-spin at an economy rate of 4.91 while left-arm spinner Jadeja has 155 wickets at 4.90. Both are useful batsmen in the lower middle-order with Jadeja being an exceptional fielder too.
Kuldeep, Chahal talented
The top official added, “The two wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were picked because they are different. Both are talented and have done extremely well so far. They bring a lot to the attack.”
He observed, “We won the ODI series against Sri Lanka 5-0 and then defeated Australia 4-1 in the one-dayers. Kuldeep and Chahal, particularly against Australia, played a big part. It would be very unfair on our part to drop them at this stage. It would hurt their confidence.”
The official insisted the door was not shut on any cricketer in the shorter formats. “We are in the process of finding the best possible team for the 2019 World Cup. We are shuffling our players, infusing fresh blood.”
‘Learning experience’ for Washington Sundar
He also dwelt on the rather mysterious case of Washington Sundar. The promising off-spinning all-rounder was all but picked in the Indian squad for the Twenty20 series against Australia, then could not get through the Yo-Yo test and subsequently found himself out of the India-A and Board President’s XI teams as well.
The senior official said, “We know he has potential. We are monitoring his progress. He is still only 18 and playing Ranji Trophy for Tamil Nadu is a learning experience in itself for Washington. He is on our minds.”
Washington, however, needs to clear the Yo-Yo test before he can be picked for any Indian side, senior or the A-team. The official said, “He might be called soon to undergo another test at the NCA.”
The selection for the shorter formats against Sri Lanka could indeed be interesting.
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