In a controversial decision, the BCCI team management decided to sit out the experienced spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja from the ODI series against South Africa and brought wrist-spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. The duo impressed in the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka and were trusted by skipper Virat Kohli to perform in unfamiliar South African pitches.
The instinct of the selection committee proved to be correct and the duo made the most of the opportunity. In 5 ODIs, the spin duo claimed 30 wickets among themselves, with Yadav picking up 16, while his leg-spin partner taking 14 wickets in the series. The duo became a huge thorn for South Africa in the middle overs as India went on to win their first ever-series in South Africa. With the World Cup coming up next year, the two have staked a claim to be included in the playing XI for India.
Speaking to reporters, former Indian cricketer Atul Wassan said that Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have no chance to return to Indian side for the World Cup now. “Well people might say diplomatically they have a chance, but I don’t see any chance unless one of Kuldeep or Chahal gets injured,” Wassan said.
The former fast bowler added that the team management should allow the two to continue for another 50-60 games to prepare them for the big tournament. “The credit should go to the team management and Virat for backing India’s core strength – spin bowling in alien conditions. And here we have two wrist spinners who have delivered pretty well. I think the management should now let these two play 50-60 games in different conditions before taking them to the World Cup. They have a big heart and aren’t afraid to flight the ball despite being belted for runs in the fourth game,” he said.
He further added that the competition for the spot is healthy for India. “One year back, no one would have thought Ashwin and Jadeja would have to fight for their place but that’s a healthy competition to have,” he said.
India will play the 6th and final ODI of the series against South Africa on Friday.
(With inputs from IANS)