The Indian cricket team recently contested in perhaps one of the most comprehensive series that it has been a part of in recent times. These days, it’s not a frequently recurring scenario that all three formats form a part of the bilateral series. But sterling exceptions have been the England tour to South Africa and India’s tour to New Zealand. While in the latter, the visitors ruled over the hosts with an iron-fist exerting pressure through an absolute whitewash (wining the contests by a margin of 5-nil), the ODI series saw the hosts New Zealand bouncing back and in some style.
India weren’t allowed any leeway as Williamson’s team, often led by Tom Latham on occasions, crushed the Virat Kohli side to complete an indomitable 3-nil ODI series whitewash. Now, only the 2 Tests remain. But a standout facet of India’s capitulation at the hands of the Kiwis in the ODIs was that despite being picked in the squad, two impressive talents, at least one of whom needs no introduction, weren’t even picked for a single game.
The Delhi Capitals co-owner Parth Jindal lashed out at the team management for making both Ashwin and Pant warm the bench, instead of selecting them in the team’s playing eleven. The fact that this happened in both the T20s and ODIs, two series’ whose fate was decided even before the fan saw the last game (in both series) was somewhat strange and perhaps not done.
This emotion was echoed by the Delhi Capitals co-owner who believes in and backs both Rishabh Pant and Ravichandran Ashwin. He was of the view that the dynamic duo, such an important part of India’s overall limited-overs strength should’ve been tried for at least, one game. But this wasn’t to be!
In the words of the Delhi Capitals co-owner Mr. Jindal, “Don’t know why @ashwinravi99 is not in this team! There seems to be an aversion to wicket-takers! After whitewashing the kiwis in T20’s the Kiwis showing India that the semi-final victory in the World Cup was no fluke. India needs wicket-takers and players with Xfactor.”
For the readers, it is worthwhile to remember that the last Ravichandran Ashwin was seen in live-action for any of India’s limited-overs duties was back in 2017. It’s been nearly 3 years since we saw the foxy off-spinner, renowned for his top spinners, participate in any limited-overs international for the Virat Kohli-led side.
In fact, this wasn’t it. In his second tweet for the public, Delhi Capitals co-owner Mr. Jindal lashed out at the team in his staunch defense of the wicket-keeping batsman, the left-handed batting dynamo Rishabh Pant.
Mr. Jindal would say, “And why carry @RishabhPant17 only for him to warm the bench? Surely he would have benefited from playing against New Zealand A or domestic cricket? To see a player as talented as him not play the 5th T20 and now the 3rd ODI makes no sense #Xfactor!”
That being said, where it stands currently, then the form of KL Rahul- also a wicket-keeping batsman for the team- has been so utterly dominant that it makes it difficult for someone like Pant to find an easy walkway into the side.
Not even when ace batsman Rohit Sharma was out injured, before the end of the T20 leg of the series that Pant was drafted into the side. At the same time, while Pant and Ashwin were struggling to find their place in the playing XI, it wasn’t that the others, who found themselves in, made the most of their chances. Case in point being Sanju Samson, who couldn’t even reach double digits in the NZ tour.