The Indian selectors have failed to put the "fear" factor in Australia and give Virat Kohli's side a "psychological" advantage by not picking off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for the opening three ODIs, according to spin great EAS Prasanna.
On Sunday (September 10), the MSK Prasad-led selection committee again "rested" leading spin duo of Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for three matches of the five-contest rubber.
The pair also did not feature in India's 5-0 whitewash over Sri Lanka recently.
Also read: India-Australia series schedule
"It is a million-dollar question," Prasanna told "International Business Times India" today (September 11) when asked about what is it about resting players like Ashwin.
77-year-old Prasanna feels India should have given importance to the series it deserves by including Ashwin, who is away in England playing county cricket for Worcestershire.
"They should have given importance to the series since it is against Australia. This is not against Zimbabwe or some other side. They should have weighed in that with all seriousness.
"They should have picked Ashwin and tried youngsters in the last two to three games. With eight matches (five ODIs, three T20Is), there were plenty of opportunities to rotate players," Prasanna, who took 189 Test wickets, said.
When Prasanna was asked about Ashwin's ODI performance being less impressive compared to Tests in recent times, he said the reputation of the bowler was more important in Australia series as he could put the "fear" in opposition batsmen.
"That is not the point (ODI form). One way it is good (to rest). He can focus on five-day games. He is our strike bowler. Test cricket is ultimate. But India is playing against Australia and they should have picked both Ashwin and Jadeja.
"It is nothing to do with form of the bowler. It is a psychological advantage for India. The fear of the bowler (Ashwin) is far more important," he concluded.
India have three spinners Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in the 16-man squad for first three ODIs. The opening game is in Ashwin's home city Chennai, on September 17 (Sunday).
Selection committee chairman Prasad said Ashwin and Jadeja had been "rested" as part of BCCI's rotation policy.
"The team for the three ODIs against Australia has been selected in line with the rotation policy of the Board and accordingly R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been rested.
"The team's performance during the Sri Lanka tour was outstanding and players like Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal, who performed very well are being given an extended run and this will in turn supplement our approach, to build a strong reserve strength, as we prepare for forthcoming tours," he said.
Ashwin has played 111 ODIs and taken 150 wickets. His last ODI was against West Indies in June this year. He has 292 wickets from 52 Tests. In 46T20Is, he has 52 scalps.