It will be a toss-up between Ravindra Jadeja and Vijay Shankar for a place in the Indian squad for the ODI World Cup to be played in England this summer. Even though the tournament kicks off in late May, The Indian Express understands that selectors have made up their mind on who the players would be that will board the Indian team flight for the quadrennial, with only the final spot undecided.
However, before making the announcement public, national selectors of the MSK Prasad-led senior selection committee want Jadeja and Shankar to prove their mettle in the ongoing One-day series against Australia for a lone slot vacant in the Indian team. This is the main reason why Jadeja got a game ahead of leggie Yuzvendra Chahal. Post Hardik Pandya’s back injury, selectors were also keen to see how all-rounder Shankar responds to the opportunity he gets.
Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami are the three seamers expected to travel along with Hardik, who is expected to undergo specific training to shore up his core fitness. However, the only point of discussion will be whether to go with Jadeja, whose athleticism saves runs on the ground, or Shankar, who is capable of big hitting when the team requires.
The emergence of two wrist spinners, Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, in the last two years has ensured India have been in a position to move away from their ace offie R Ashwin and left-arm spinner Jadeja. The youngsters have brought freshness to the team and their ability to take wickets on a regular basis gives them the edge ahead of Ashwin and Jadeja.
Wrist spinners have made batters dance to their spin tunes. When Yadav was asked if wrist spinners have ensured that Ashwin and Jadeja are completely out of the race, he said, “No no, not at all, we haven’t (shown the door) to anyone. But we got the opportunity and we did well and they have always been doing well for India. In Test matches, Ash (Ravichandran Ashwin) and Jaddu Bhai are playing. And we learn a lot from them. They carry a lot of experience, when I am in the Test team, I learn a lot from them. Whenever we got an opportunity, me and Chahal have performed for the team and that helped the team win, so we’re happy about it.”
Meanwhile in another development, India’s team physiotherapist Patrick Farhat has sent the India team players’ current fitness assessments to respective IPL franchises which will help them in their workload management. The IPL takes a lot of toll physically and mentally on players. With the World Cup around the corner, the board is keen to limit the workload of India players, bound for England. However, BCCI has as yet not been able to convey their wishes to respective IPL franchises.