Is it the end of white-ball cricket for Ashwin, Jadeja?

Is it the end of white-ball cricket for Ashwin, Jadeja?
Without saying in as many words Virat Kohli indicated that he would prefer R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who have been ignored for three limited-overs series in a row now, playing only in Tests.

Kohli reasoned out their exclusion by saying that he didn’t want the two experienced pros to lose their rhythm of bowling in Tests by playing across formats. Wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have been getting preference over Ashwin and Jadeja in recent times in limited overs format.

“We always had in mind to bring wrist spinners into play,” Kohli said here on Friday. “We honestly did not think of playing two together but they are so good together that it is tempting to play them every game together. Also we will have to see how much we expose certain bowlers who are playing formats for us, who are playing across formats, it’s a rhythm thing. With batsmen it’s very different, with bowlers it’s even more difficult, because you really need to change the way you bowl according to format and that can hamper the most important format which is Test cricket for us.

“It’s been a combination of both, giving guys chances as well as understanding the workloads of bowlers who have played for a while. (Ravichandran) Ashwin and (Ravindra) Jadeja have played for last 6-7 years, limited overs cricket for us regularly. These youngsters have stepped up, it creates a strong pool for us before the World Cup and contrary to a lot of things being said left-right-centre we understand how the dynamics of the team are going forward and that is something which will be hard to explain otherwise,” he offered.

Kohli also made it clear that if Ajinkya Rahane were to be included in the playing 11 it’s only when he has to open the innings. “He’s definitely grabbed his opportunities as the third opener,” Kohli said of Rahane. “As I mentioned, there was KL (Rahul) as well competing for the spot for a bit, but Jinks (Rahane) has really performed well, he has stood up and taken his chances.

“That’s how the dynamics of the team work, where there are four guys who play in a similar position, obviously one of them will have to miss out. Even in the three, only two can play in the 11. Again as I mentioned, I don’t want to confuse him too much making him play in the middle order.

“You need to find your game in ODI cricket, you need to understand how to go about things in ODI cricket and he’s been very solid at the top order because of his technique. And he likes playing there as well, it gives him freedom to go after the bowlers.

“We don’t want to confuse him, he’s in a happy space. Whenever someone is not going through a good phase or there is an injury, he’s there, he is right at the doorstep waiting to play a game whenever the team requires him to. He’s pretty happy with his batting at the moment,” he explained.

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