Team India Chief selector Ajit Agarkar explains why senior players are resting for Australia ODIs
When choosing the team for the three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) against Australia, Team India management and selectors went against the traditional wisdom and announced two squads for the forthcoming series, which will begin on Friday, September 22 in Mohali.
Given that the Asia Cup has just concluded and a World Cup with nine matches over six weeks is imminent, the management decided to rest four crucial players: captain Rohit Sharma, vice-captain Hardik Pandya, veteran batsman Virat Kohli, and the team's top spinner, Kuldeep Yadav.
The World Cup squad is announced for the third ODI, and the alterations apply to the first two ODIs. Ajit Agarkar, the chairman of selectors, gave a speech during the press conference to announce the squad and gave an explanation of the reasoning behind the choice, citing the close proximity to the World Cup.
In response to the query, Agarkar stated that crucial players who have been playing frequently need a mental vacation since it allows them to observe some of the other players. There has always been a Rohit and Virat. For us, Hardik is a key player. We desire that he oversee him. It's Kuldeep, looking amazing.
We get to have a peek at a few of the other guys as well. That's how it's thought. Fortunately, there was a good bit of cricket during the Asia Cup. If not, we would have taken a different tack with it.
"The boys eventually need a mental vacation, which is not always a bad thing in the run-up to the competition. For the third game, all players will be allowed to participate. We're going to play the World Cup team," Agarkar declared.
KL Rahul, the wicketkeeper batsman, has been selected the captain in lieu of Rohit and Hardik, with Ravindra Jadeja serving as his deputy.
In addition to Washington Sundar and R Ashwin being selected in lieu of Kuldeep and the injured Axar Patel, Ruturaj Gaikwad has been selected as the supplementary opener in place of Rohit.
India squad for first two ODIs against Australia: KL Rahul (w/c), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja (vc), Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Tilak Varma, Prasidh Krishna, R Ashwin, Washington Sundar