BCCI yesterday announced the squad for the Australia ODI series and while the usual suspects made the list, there were two selections(or non-selections), that of Ashwin and Jadeja that made the news.
Owing to the amount of cricket being played, BCCI has opted for a rotational policy, in order to manage the workload of the Indian players. Both Ashwin and Jadeja have been first picks in the Test team but BCCI has resorted to resting them for ODI series, something that seems flawed, especially if they are in line to be picked for World events.
Mohammad Azharuddin has made a very valid point today, questioning BCCI’s decision, as he feels that if Ashwin and Jadeja are in line to be picked for the 2019 World Cup, they need to play the ‘big series’.
“I can understand if both Ashwin and Jadeja are rested for the Sri Lankan series. But when India are playing against a team like Australia, your best spinners should be used. After all, you are playing at home and on wickets that suit them. They should have been given a chance to play the Australian series,” Azhar told TOI in an interview.
While Ashwin hasn’t been doing well in the limited overs format, Jadeja has contributed in all three formats, winning games for India at regular intervals.
Ashwin is probably being seen as a ‘specialist’ Test player by the BCCI and thus has been granted time to play county cricket but Jadeja’s exclusion for such a major series has come as a shock.
“It’s good that Ashwin is playing in the County championship. The County stint will do a world of good to his confidence. But if I were a captain, I would definitely make Ashwin and Jadeja play in the Australia series at home,” said Azhar.
Azhar then went onto shower some praise on Virat Kohli and the way he is shaping up this Indian cricket team.
“Kohli is focused, mentally strong, maintains good fitness level and talented. All these elements are then backed by some good performances which makes a lethal combo for the opposition,” Azhar said.
Azhar also wanted Raina to be included in the team, as his stellar ODI record and experience could come in handy during crunch situations.
“Raina should come back into the ODI team. He has the experience and a good track record,” Azhar concluded.