The Indian team has done extremely well in South Africa, having won the 3rd test match in Johannesburg, Virat Kohli and his men lead the 6 match ODI series 3-0 currently. Apart from Kohli’s unbelievable consistency on this tour, the biggest positive from this tour will be the stellar performance of the bowling contingent.
After the impressive performances by Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami in the test series, the baton has been taken over by the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav in the ODI series. The two wrist spinners have taken a combined total of 21 wickets till now and have successfully managed to strangulate the South African batsmen everytime they have come into a bowl.
It was on the Sri Lankan tour last year that the spin-duo was introduced together in a match and since then they have played 17 matches each, while coincidently picking up exactly 32 wickets a-piece. Ashwin & Jadeja’s recent performances in the shorter cricket formats have casted a huge doubt on the future of India’s number one ranked spinner-combo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Even though both Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been sidelined from India’s ODI and T20 squad for some time now, India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun believes that the door is not closed for both of them in the lead-up to the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Moreover, Bharat Arun acknowledged the fact that the two wrist spinners have done extremely well, especially due to the fact that the spin-duo deliver regardless of the pitches and conditions.
Speaking to Times of India ahead of India’s 4th ODI against South Africa, Bharat Arun said, “They are extremely positive. They are not afraid to flight the ball. They are not afraid to impart extra spin to gain something, and they are not dependent on the wicket. They get a lot out of the air. They have enough skills to beat batsmen in the air and they back their instinct.”
“The two spinners have been outstanding in the ODIs. They have got lot of talent and lot of abilities. They have troubled the best batsmen in the business back home.”
“We were extremely confident that they would come here to South Africa and make inroads into their batting.”
Bharat Arun believes that the spot in the next year’s World Cup squad is still very much open and the opportunity handed to the Ravichandran has only come from a policy to build a big talent pool of players and give these spinners a good rest in between such a hectic schedule.
“We had a good pool of bowlers and given the volume of cricket we are playing, we needed to keep rotating these bowlers and keep them fresh for every format. These two bowlers showed a lot of promise. We thought that in these conditions, wrist spinners would do lot more than finger spinners, and they have come to the party here,” said Bharat Arun.
Ashwin & Jadeja not out of race for 2019 World Cup
Adding further to the discussion, India’s 55-year-old bowling coach said, “We wanted to look at all the existing talent in the pool and then we wanted to decide who we wanted for the ultimate goal of the World Cup.”
“It’s not that Ashwin and Jadeja are out of the race. They could still be (included) into the team.”
Both Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have played over 100 one day internationals (ODIs)s and have picked up 150 and 155 wickets respectively. However, on the basis of their cricket from the past one year, it is pretty clear that their talent can very-well be utilised in the longest format of the game, Test cricket.