Ravi Shastri has justified the snub on R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja by saying that India's emphasis was on Test cricket and the duo needed a break. Ashwin and Jadeja have now been "rested" for the second series in a row after being absent in the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka as well.
The MSK Prasad-led selection committee’s decision made some in cricketing circles speculate why the champion Test bowlers had been dropped from the ODI squad. However, Ravi Shastri made it clear that Test cricket being the priority of the team, the spinner duo cannot play in every limited-overs series.
"We can't play Ashwin and Jadeja all the time. There is enough time for Ashwin to get back into the team because the World Cup is still two years away. Emphasis has to be on Test cricket," said Shastri told India Today.
Young spinners Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were a part of Sri Lanka series in the absence of Ashwin and Jadeja. The trio offered a variety in the team for captain Virat Kohli as Axar is a left-arm off-spinner, Kuldeep is a
This break, for both Ashwin and Jadeja, comes for the first time since the 2016 West Indies tour. Ashwin has bowled 1014 overs in 20 Tests picking up 116 wickets at an average of 25.06, since then while Jadeja has bowled 855 overs in 16 matches and picked up 87 wickets at an average of 23.47 during the same time.
In the last two years, Ashwin was a part of just 11 ODIs in which he claimed just 10 wickets at an average of 55.79 while Jadeja played 15 matches picking up 11 wickets at 67.09.
With the World Cup being two years away, the team management wants to reduce the workload on Ashwin and Jadeja by including younger players, Axar, Chahal, and Kuldeep. The spin twins, on the other hand, are being utilized carefully in the limited-overs formats.