India bowling coach Bharat Arun has insisted Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are not yet out of a race for the 2019 World Cup which is scheduled to be held in England and Wales.
Ashwin’s last One-day International came in June 2017 while Jadeja previously played an ODI in July same year. This was during the tour of West Indies.
Interestingly, their last Twenty20 International too came on the same tour when they were part of the one-off match at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica. They were first dropped from the team for the limited-overs series in Sri Lanka. At that time, the selectors had said that the star spinners have been ‘rested’.
The rest, however, is yet to get over. Their replacements – Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal – have done exceedingly well. As a result, any chances of seeing the senior spinners in coloured jersey is looking bleak at the moment.
The Test specialists had failed to perform well outside India but Chahal and Kuldeep have turned out to be exceptions as wrist spinners.
They have done brilliantly in the ongoing series so far against South Africa. The leg-spinner Chahal has picked up 11 while the Chinaman Kuldeep has bagged 10 wickets in the first three games.
With both attacking spinners doing well at the moment, speculations are rife that the senior tweakers will be ignored for the upcoming 50-over World Cup.
However, Bharat Arun said the door is still not shut on Ashwin and Jadeja.
“At that point of time (in Sri Lanka series) we wanted to try out all our talent. We had a good pool of bowlers. As you would understand, the volume of cricket that we are playing, we need to keep rotating those bowlers so that they are fresh for every format. These two bowlers showed a lot of promise and we said in overseas conditions a wrist spinner would do a lot more than finger spinner. Rightly so they have come to the party here,” 55-year-old Arun said on Friday (February 9) at The Wanderers Stadium.
“We wanted to look at all the existing talent that we had. We wanted to look at the pool of talent and then we would decide on who we would want for the ultimate goal of the World Cup. It is not that Ashwin and Jadeja are out of the race. They could still be into the team,” he added.
Praise for wrist-spinners:
Arun further lavished praise on Chahal and Kuldeep. The former India player also lauded the spin duo for their positive attitude.
“They are extremely positive. Chahal and Kuldeep are not afraid to flight the ball. They are not afraid to impart that extra spin. And they are not dependent on the wicket. They get lot out of the air. They have enough skills to beat batsmen in the air. And they just back their instincts.”
Meanwhile, the fourth game of the series will be played on February 10 in Johannesburg. India is leading the six-match series 3-0 and a win in the upcoming game will see them winning a bilateral series in South Africa for the very first time.
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