Mumbai: As Virat Kohli-led India gear up to square off against Steve Smith’s Australia in five ODIs and three Twenty20s, former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin has expressed disappointment over the exclusion of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja from the squad for the first three ODIs.
The spinning duo was not a part of Team India as it outplayed Sri Lanka in the recently concluded ODIs and a lone Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. The MSK Prasad-led selection panel chose to continue with the troika of Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel, who played a big part in India’s success in limited-overs matches in the Island nation, for the first three ODIs against Australia.
“The team for the three ODIs against Australia has been selected in line with the rotation policy of the Board and accordingly R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been rested," said MSK Prasad, chairman, All-India Senior Selection Committee, had said while explaining the rationale behind not picking Ashwin and Jadeja.
"The team’s performance during the Sri Lanka tour was outstanding and players like Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal, who performed very well are being given an extended run and this will in turn supplement our approach, to build a strong reserve strength, as we prepare for forthcoming tours," Prasad had added.
However, Azhar did not seem too pleased with the selectors’ decision to rest Ashwin and Jadeja.
"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 was quoted as saying by Times of India.
"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," added Azhar.
The Indian off-spinner is currently in England playing for Worcestershire in the County cricket championship.
Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami....