Ashwin, Pant exclusion from India's white-ball teams puzzles Delhi Capitals co-owner

While Rishabh Pant and off-break bowler R. Ashwin are part of India's Test squad for the series against New Zealand, their exclusion from the ODI and T20 teams puzzles Delhi Capitals co-owner Parth Jindal.

Rishabh Pant

File photo: Rishabh Pant and R. Ashwin celebrate a wicket.   -  Getty Images

As India battled to avoid an ODI series whitewash against New Zealand on Tuesday, Delhi Capitals co-owner Parth Jindal was left puzzled by his franchise's players Rishabh Pant and R. Ashwin being left out of the team. In a series of tweets, Jindal questioned the team management's decision to leave Pant on the bench despite the third ODI being a dead rubber and wondered why off-break bowler Ashwin isn't part of India's limited-overs squads.

Citing Ashwin as a wicket-taker, Jindal said via his tweet: "Don’t know why @ashwinravi99 is not in this team! There seems to be an aversion to wicket takers! After white washing the kiwis in T20’s the Kiwis showing India that the semi final victory in the World Cup was no fluke. India needs wicket takers and players with X factor."

Read: Ishant to undergo fitness test ahead of NZ Tests

His next tweet was of Pant's lack of game-time. "And why carry @RishabhPant17 only for him to warm the bench? Surely he would have benefited from paying against New Zealand A or domestic cricket? To see a player as talented as him not play the 5th T20 and now the 3rd ODI makes no sense #Xfactor," he tweeted.

While Ashwin hasn't been part of the ODI setup for well over two years, Pant fell out of favour recently after suffering concussion during the first ODI against Australia last month. K. L. Rahul, who stood as the emergency wicketkeeper that day, has become India's first-choice 'keeper in the ODI and T20I sides, with captain Virat Kohli playing a specialist batsman (Manish Pandey or Kedar Jadhav) in place of Pant.

Ashwin continues to be an automatic pick in India's Test squad, but his last ODI in India colours came in June 2017. While wristspinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal had been successful as a pairing leading up to the 2019 World Cup, they haven't been potent of late while the absence of seam-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya has forced Kohli to play an all-rounder (primarily Ravindra Jadeja) ahead of a specialist spinner.

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