Here is some good news for Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as they eye a return to India's limited-overs sides.
Ahead of India's fourth One Day International against South Africa tomorrow (February 10) in Johannesburg, bowling coach Bharat Arun gave hopes to Ashwin and Jadeja stating that they are "not out of the race" despite wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav calling the shots at the moment.
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When queried about the decision to pick Chahal and Kuldeep in Sri Lanka last year ahead of Ashwin and Jadeja, Arun explained that it was to "rotate" the bowlers and check the "good pool of bowlers".
"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 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.
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The former India all-rounder, who played in two Tests and four ODIs, added, "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."
Ashwin and Jadeja, India's best spinners in the Test format, have not featured in India's white-ball plans since October 2017. Ashwin last played an ODI in June 2017 and Jadeja in July 2017.
Chahal and Kuldeep have done well in home series and now have accounted for 21 victims in three matches in the ongoing ODI series against South Africa.
On the duo's success, Arun said, "They are extremely positive. They 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."
While Arun's words are encouraging for Ashwin and Jadeja, recently, captain Virat Kohli had almost confirmed that Chahal and Kuldeep would be certainty for next year's World Cup in England.
"They might get hit for 70-odd in the next game. But there is no problem in that because you know that if they bowl attacking lines then they will end up picking two-three wickets every game. In these conditions now and we are going to play the World Cup away from home, that I think is going to be the massive x-factor for us," Kohli had said after the third ODI in Cape Town on Wednesday (February 7).