R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were left out of India’s squad for the first three One-Day Internationals against Australia, in a 16-man squad announced on Sunday (September 10), with MSK Prasad, the chairman of selectors, saying the spin duo had been rested in line with the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s rotation policy.
Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami, the pace bowlers, made a comeback after being rested from the side that played five ODIs and one Twenty20 International in Sri Lanka. Shardul Thakur, who made his international debut in Sri Lanka, didn’t find a place in the squad for the ODIs against Australia. The Mumbai pacer was however, included in the India A squad that will take on New Zealand A in two four-day matches.
“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 Prasad, while adding that the young spinners who had done well in Sri Lanka deserved an extended run. “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.”
Axar, the left-arm spinner, took six wickets in four matches at an average of 25.66 and a miserly economy rate of 3.85. Chahal, the legspinner, took five wickets in four games at a tidy economy of 4.70, while Kuldeep Yadav, the chinaman bowler, picked up three scalps in two games and gave away runs at just 3.80.
India completed an overwhelmingly successful tour of Sri Lanka, winning all nine international matches played – 3-0 in the Tests, 5-0 in the ODIs and 1-0 in the lone T20I.
The series against Australia will begin with an ODI in Chennai on September 17, followed by matches in Kolkata, Indore, Bangalore and Nagpur.
Meanwhile, Karun Nair was once again named captain of the India A side that will take on New Zealand A in two four-day matches at home. The four-dayers will be followed by five one-day matches, though the India A 50-over team is yet to be announced.
Last month, Nair had led India A to a 1-1 series draw against South Africa A in South Africa, with the team coming back to win the second match after losing the first.
This team was largely identical to the one that went to South Africa, with the only notable change being Rishabh Pant coming in for Ishan Kishan, in a like-for-like aggressive wicketkeeper-batsman swap. Interestingly enough, Kishan had been the India Under-19 captain in the 2016 World Cup while Pant was his deputy then.
Aniket Choudhary, the left-arm pacer was also not in the squad and neither was Jayant Yadav, the offspinner. Jayant had been part of the India A squad to travel to South Africa but returned early after being bereaved. K Gowtham, who had replaced Jayant in South Africa, continued to keep his place in the India A team.
The two four-day games will happen in Vijayawada. The first game starts on September 23, while the second one on September 30. However, the timing of the first game means it will clash with the Duleep Trophy final, which is scheduled from September 25 to 29.
Thus a majority of the India A players are likely to be unavailable for the Duleep final, including the likes of Priyank Panchal, R Samarth, Sudip Chatterjee, Ankit Bawne, Karun Nair, Pant, Shahbaz Nadeem, Gowtham, Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj. The Duleep Trophy was originally not in the domestic schedule drawn up by the BCCI, and was only included at the last moment after the Committee of Administrators asked for it.
India squad for first three ODIs: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.
India A Squad for two four-day games: Priyank Panchal, R Samarth, Sudip Chatterjee, Shreyas Iyer, Ankit Bawne, Karun Nair (capt), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shahbaz Nadeem, K Gowtham, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Ankit Rajpoot