On a day when they slogged it out in the Ranji Trophy with contrasting results, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were ignored by the national selectors for the third time in a row as they continued with the younger crop for the ODI series against New Zealand.
While MSK Prasad had initially said that the senior bowlers were rested during the limited overs series against Sri Lanka, but bypassing them for the Australia and now New Zealand leg is an indication that they are slowly falling off the radar as far as limited overs cricket is concerned.
With Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal having done fairly well in the past three series, it is now difficult to bring back both Ashwin and Jadeja for New Zealand one dayers.
India have already started with their preparation for the 2019 World Cup in right earnest.
Jadeja may feel hard done by as he was once again ignored on a day when he smashed 150 for Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy game against Jammu and Kashmir.
Ashwin had a slightly tougher day as he bowled 24 overs for 60 runs taking just a wicket in return against the weakest team in the competition—Tripura.
Teams like Australia and New Zealand are vulnerable against wrist spinners as Kuldeep and Chahal had shown against the Aussies and Karn Sharma against the Black Caps’ A side, which had a lot of senior internationals.
Among the other changes, Shikhar Dhawan has predictably made a comeback after a brief sabbatical to attend family issues with KL Rahul making way for him.
Dinesh Karthik’s presence will mean that there will be some pressure on Manish Pandey as Kedar Jadhav, with his off-breaks, brings more variety to the side.
Karthik, who last played for India during the West Indies tour in July and was also a part of the Champions Trophy squad, has been picked again.
The 32-year-old was named in the India T20 squad for the recently-concluded Australia series but did not get a game.