Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja can be called as one of the best things to happen for Indian cricket team in recent times. The two were the men for all seasons until June, when they landed in England for the Indian cricket team’s defence of the ICC Champions Trophy. But their failure to help India secure the premier ODI trophy seems to have gone against them.
India’s premier Test spinners, R Ashwin and Jadeja, were snubbed by the national cricket selectors again after being left out of the squad for the three-match ODI series against New Zealand, starting on October 22. It seems to be a continuation of the Indian cricket team management, led by skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri, pinning its faith in wrist spin over finger spin.
The switch to Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has netted benefits with the two proving more attacking, wicket-taking options. India believe that will help in the 2019 cricket World Cup to be played in England.
Since the 2015 World Cup, R Ashwin has played just 15 of the 47 games India have figured in. Jadeja has featured in 17. Ashwin has been left out for the last three series; versus Sri Lanka, Australia and now New Zealand. Jadeja was included as an injury back-up for fellow left-arm spinner Axar Patel during the recent series against Australia, but didn’t get to play.
R Ashwin made waves first as a limited-overs spinner, and was a prominent member of the 2011 World Cup win at home. But both Ashwin and Jadeja failed to make a mark in the Champions Trophy.
Ashwin struggled to get into the playing eleven. He was picked only for three matches, taking just one wicket. He failed to strike against Bangladesh, and went for 0/70 in the loss against Pakistan in the final. Jadeja played five games, but returned 0/67 in the final at the Oval as Pakistan raised a match-winning 338.
Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have lived up to the Indian cricket team’s mantra that taking wickets, rather than containing, is the way forward. India’s new approach has seen them dominate ODI series in Sri Lanka and against Australia, winning 5-0 and 4-1 respectively.
However, the national selectors have not explained why Jadeja and Ashwin have not been given a go even in home conditions, raising questions whether they are part of India’s limited-overs plans heading into the 2019 World Cup.
Wasn’t Jadeja the ideal limited-overs all-rounder before Hardik Pandya started making waves. He is also arguably the best fielder in the side, big-hitter down the order and a restricting spinner who also got through his overs very fast, Jadeja was seen as a certainty in limited overs.
Ashwin has been a match winner and has single handedly won so many matches. Just one bad tournament and they are Bing rested. It seems too harsh on them. It is said Kohli wants Chahal and Kuldeep to grow. He sees that they have potential to grow big and is hence supporting them. Kohli has already captained Chahal in RCB. But ignoring two potential match winners may not be good.
The role of Ashwin and Jadeja should be known to all as soon as possible in ODI.