4 Indian players that might be rested for the ODI series against Australia
Team India won back-to-back overseas ODI series against Australia and New Zealand and thereby justified their 'favorites' tag ahead of the much-awaited World Cup. There were some areas of concern before the start of the series against Australia, such as the search of a full-time third pacer and a batsman at number 4, but the entire squad has responded brilliantly to the needful.
Players like Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik and Mohammed Shami have grabbed their opportunities with both hands in the last couple of months. Therefore, with most of the players having stepped up to the task, the selectors now have a healthy headache looking ahead.
India will play its last ODI series before the World Cup against Australia at home. The Aussies have been struggling to find the right combination before the World Cup and thus the Indian selectors might rest some of the key members in the ODI series.
On that note, let's take a look at 4 players who might be rested for the first 3 or allODIs against Australia.
#4 Mohammed Shami
Before the ODI series against Australia, there were apprehensions about Moh'd Shami's place in the Indian ODI side. But the pacer made a terrific comeback in the 50-over format by bowling some brilliant spells against Australia and New Zealand.
Shami was also named the man-of-the-series in the recently concluded ODI series against New Zealand. However, the fast bowler is prone to injuries and has missed a lot of cricket because of these injuries.
He also did a lot of bowling in the Test series against Australia. Shami might be drafted back in side for the last two ODIs but now that he has more or less established himself in the playing XI, the selectors should consider giving him a rest in the initial part of series.
#3 Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar had his troubles with injuries in 2018 and due to the same, he wasn't at his deadly best. After missing quite a few matches, Kumar made a good comeback in the Asia Cup. And even though he did not get a single game in the series, Kumar was part of the team that won the Test series in Australia.
In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested in the ODI series against Australia and the entire New Zealand tour, the onus was on him to lead the Indian bowling attack. He played every match in the series against Australia and New Zealand and provided the goods with the new ball and at the death.
The right-arm seamer is also expected to bowl a lot of overs for his IPL side Sunrisers Hyderabad as well, and thus the selectors will want to provide a much-needed break to him before the IPL.
#2 Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav has been a success story since the time he first donned the India blue. The chinaman spinner has bamboozled batsmen all over the world and is considered to be India's trump card in the World Cup.
Due to his ability to outfox batsman, use his variations to good effect and pick up wickets with aplomb, he is one of the best spinners going around at the moment in world cricket.
However, it will be highly important for him to remain fit during this period. Apart from being an integral part of the Indian ODI and T20 sides, Yadav has also been in the Indian Test team for quite some time. He also featured in the final Test against Australia, where he took 5 wickets in the first innings.
Although the 24-year-old was rested for a few matches in between, he did played a lot of ODI and T20 games in Australia and New Zealand. With Jasprit Bumrah expected to make a comeback in the team and the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja already in the squad, the selectors can afford to rest Kuldeep Yadav in the initial part of the ODI series against Australia.
#1 Rohit Sharma
In a post-match show after the final ODI against New Zealand, India coach Ravi Shastri talked about managing workloads of players like Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Mohammed Shami. While Dhawan hasn't been part of India's Test side off late, Rohit Sharma has been playing cricket for Team India in all formats since the start of the tour of Australia.
There are no doubts regarding the vice-captain's importance in the Indian ODI team. He has played some sensational knocks for the team at the top of the order and his form and fitness will have a huge bearing on India's chances in the marquee tournament.
Rohit is the captain of Mumbai Indians and thus there are less chances of him getting any respite in the IPL. The selectors will be wary of this fact and will want to keep the 'Hitman' as he's often called, fresh for the World Cup.
Also, Virat Kohli is likely to make a comeback to the Indian team after a long rest and thus, his deputy should be given some breathing space before the IPL.