Jadeja set for ODI return; Shami too in the fray

Cricket : Team for limited-overs tour of Australia to be picked today

Jadeja set for ODI return; Shami too in the fray

 Ravindra Jadeja’s splendid performance in the recently concluded Test series against South Africa is likely to be considered wh­en national selectors meet here on Saturday to decide on the ODI and Twenty20 squads for the Australia tour.

The series will begin on January 12 with India playing five ODIs and three T20 internationals Down Under. The other player who is likely to make a comeback is pacer Mohammad Shami.

After an impressive World Cup in Australia earlier this year, Shami was out of action for the entire year due to a knee injury. He underwent a knee surgery and returned to competitive fold only with the ongoing Vijay Hazare limited overs trophy this month. Representing Bengal, he has bowled 18 overs in the two matches he played, against Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, and took a total of three wickets giving away 92 runs. With the Indian bowling in the limited overs a source of constant headache, it would be no surprise if the selectors are eager to welcome him back, provided there are no lingering fitness issues.

No doubt, the selectors would be picking the side keeping in mind the conditions in Australia but it would also be done with a bigger view of the forthcoming World Twenty20 in India, to be captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. They would be looking to give Shami sufficient time before making up their mind for the World Cup combination. Ishant Sharma would be another bowler looking to return into the mix after missing out in the ODIs against South Africa owing to a hamstring injury.    

Jadeja was dropped for the ODI series in Zimbabwe and against South Africa but forced his way back into the Test side with a successful Ranji Trophy for Saurashtra. He impressed in Tests against South Africa, bagging 23 wickets and scoring crucial knocks to amass 109 runs. The 27-year-old fills the ever vacant spot of an all-rounder in the team and allows India to field five bowlers. He could be the second spinner to be taken along with Ravichandran Ashwin to Australia.

It, though, has to be seen if the selectors would make any changes in the batting and persist with Ambati Rayudu, who hasn’t impressed much this year. Murali Vijay, on the other hand, has been solid in Tests but hasn’t got a longer run in shorter format.

The form of opener Shikhar Dhawan could also be discussed after a lukewarm outing in entire South Africa series.

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