The Indian cricket team is one that has conquered in all formats off late and have shown that they have the skill to take on the best in the world and beat them. While the batting has been splendid, the bowling too have not lagged too far behind.
The emergence of Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar in the shorter formats of the game coupled with the new-age spin dup of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have shown that they have what it takes to succeed.
However, the arrival and rise of the latter has led to another debate – Have Ashwin and Jadeja been relegated to substitute statuses in the shorter format of the game?
Youth over experience:
While Jadeja and Ashwin are still India’s best spinners by a mile in the longer format of the game, they have been omitted from the Indian team for T20s and ODIs right from the Sri Lanka series. The reason given back then was that they wanted to rest the duo and try out newer options against a weaker opponent.
Credit must be given to Yadav and Chahal for stepping up against the Lankans and providing India with crucial blows and getting themselves noticed. The young duo managed to split the wickets between them, bowling superbly while the seamers took a break.
However, when it seemed that India would revert to their old warhorses for the Australia series, they decided to continue with these two. It sends out a message that the Indian team want to start investing in youth before the 2019 World Cup.
What this does however, is create an air of mixed signals in the minds of the more experienced duo. Jadeja and Ashwin have not performed too shabbily in the shorter formats. Jadeja especially is a real asset when it comes to his fielding abilities as he is one of the best in the world on the ground.
This does not mean that it is the end of the road for the two seniors in the squad. It does look like the younger duo are given preference but when Jadeja and Ashwin as back-ups, it is not a bad headache to have.
However, Kohli knows that he has a tricky situation that needs to be addressed. With the two players obviously wanting to play all formats, India must find an effective rotational policy that works for everyone.
Try them as batsmen:
With Manish Pandey not being able to cement his spot in the side, the time is ripe for someone like Ashwin or Jadeja to possibly try their hand at being a useful batsman. This means that they can still contribute with the ball with their batting skill coming in handy.
It is an advantage that the two have, being all-rounders over Chahal and Yadav. Their bags of experience also will help and this could be the trigger to move Dhoni up the order and ask one of them to fill up the lower middle order slot that he would vacate.
Let’s see how India handles the situation and if Ashwin and Jadeja make it for the New Zealand series. Until then, it is a good headache to have and shows that India are in good form and shape.
By Rohit Nair