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Can't play Ashwin and Jadeja all the time: Ravi Shastri to India Today

India Today logo India Today 6 days ago Edited by Rohan Sen
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For the second time in successive series, India's top two spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been 'rested' from the limited-overs team. The duo missed the recently-concluded limited-overs series against Sri Lanka and have been rested for the first three ODIs against Australia as well.

The decision taken by the MSK Prasad-led selection committee raised a few eyebrows with some in cricketing circles with some even wondering if the champion Test bowlers had been dropped from the ODI squad.

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Team India head coach Ravi Shastri though clarified to India Today's Boria Majumdar that the team's priority was Test cricket which is why the spin twins 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," Shastri told Boria Majumdar in an exclusive chat.

The series against Sri Lanka saw the inclusion of young spinners Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in Ashwin and Jadeja's absence.

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The three provided completely different options for captain Virat Kohli during the series with Axar being a left-arm off-spinner, Kuldeep being a chinaman and Chahal being a conventional right-arm leg-spinner.

Since the West Indies tour last year, Ashwin has bowled 1014 overs in 20 Tests picking up 116 wickets at an average of 25.06.

During the same period Jadeja has bowled 855 overs in 16 matches and picked up 87 wickets at an average of 23.47.

On the other hand, in the last two years Ashwin has played just 11 ODIs getting 10 wickets at 55.79 and an economy rate of 5.93 while Jadeja has played 15 matches picking up 11 wickets at 67.09 with an economy of 5.27.

With the World Cup another two years away, the team management is making a conscious effort to give a longer rope to Axar, Chahal and Kuldeep which has reduced the workload on Ashwin and Jadeja, who are being used more carefully in the limited-overs formats.

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