Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Shami, Umesh back in Indian ODI squad

Shami, Umesh back in Indian ODI squad

Chennai: Australia skipper Steve Smith has admitted that the upcoming limited over series against India, consisting of five ODIs and three T20Is, will be a tough one and will present a tough challenge to his team.

Indian pacemen, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami, who were rested for the Sri Lanka series, have been re-called for the limited overs tour against Australia.

India completed an overwhelmingly successful tour of Sri Lanka, winning every global match - 3-0 in the Tests, 5-0 in the ODIs and 1-0 in the lone T20I. The other four games will be played at venues like Indore, Bengaluru, Nagpur and Kolkata. India would benefit a lot more if Ashwin can outperform the opposing spinners in South Africa and England.

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The Indian off-spinner is now in England playing for Worcestershire in the County cricket championship. TOI had reported about the possibility of Ashwin's exclusion on Sunday and also that the selectors would choose not to enforce too many changes from the team which whitewashed Sri Lanka 5-0 recently.

Even in West Indies, Ashwin played in three games, and Jadeja just two.

If, in the light of new fitness norms that are being tom-tommed as essential for success in the 2019 World Cup, neither Yuvraj nor Ashwin make the cut, why bother mincing words? The last time Australia played a one-day series in India was way back in 2013 which India won by 3-2. But when Prasad spoke after "resting" him against Lanka, he was asked if the selectors had planned the "rest" due to the chance to play county cricket. Not taking anything away from the huge experience that county cricket gives to a player, Azhar said, "It's good that Ashwin is playing in the County Championship".

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"The team for the three ODIs against Australia has been selected in line with the rotation policy of the Board". Why should a player not know whether he is being rested, rotated or just plain dropped?

Is Team India looking beyond Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for One-Day Internationals? But these didn't materialise. Is there a message for someone there?

Their lack of wickets in bulk in blue jersey doesn't take away sheen from their performances in Test cricket, but the question will still remain as to why such a long "rest" has been given to these world-class bowlers.

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