The Indian team has reached the crucial stage of final preparations for the World Cup later this year. The team is left with a mere 5 ODIs to experiment before the start of the mega event. The Indian selectors and team management should make use of this final opportunity to identify the players who are going to fill in the last 3 vacant spots in the World Cup squad.
Concurrently, the near certainties should be given ample match practice to introspect their form and fitness one last time. Hence, it will be difficult for the selectors to accomplish all these interrelated objectives within a span of 5 matches.
To start with, the selectors can adopt the strategy of resting a few of the key players for the first 3 ODIs and use this opportunity to test the fringe players. The key players can make a comeback for the last two ODIs in place of other certainties who have shown encouraging form in the first 3 ODIs. That way the fringe players would get an extended opportunity of 5 matches to prove their mettle one final time ahead of the World Cup.
In any case, since Australia would also be in a frame of mind to experiment to arrive at their perfect combination for the World Cup, it would only even out. We might still witness a closely fought ODI series.
In this article, we will discuss the 3 key Indian players who should be rested for the first 3 ODIs against Australia.
#3. Yuzvendra Chahal
Chahal has played the entire 5-match ODI series against New Zealand. He is in decent form and a near certainty for the World Cup. He should be rested for the first 3 matches and his place should be taken up by Ravindra Jadeja.
Jadeja, though a part of the Indian squad in New Zealand, never got his opportunity. Besides, it would not be in the team’s interest to expose both the wrist spinners, Chahal and Kuldeep in tandem to Australia before the World Cup.
Chahal could return for the last two ODIs in place of Kuldeep Yadav.