New Delhi: Indian skipper Rohit Sharma disclosed the reason for dropping India's Chinaman bowler, Kuldeep Yadav in the first two matches of their upcoming ODI series against Australia.
Kuldeep's prowess with spin was on display throughout the Asia Cup is now going to miss the first two games of India's three-match ODI series due to the risk of not exposing him a lot before the ODI World Cup.
Opposition batters were at Kuldeep's mercy as he scalped 9 wickets in 5 games at an average of 11.44 and an economy of 3.61.
But considering India's first game of the World Cup is against Australia, the Indian skipper is not willing to let the opposition have time with Kuldeep on the field before the action-packed tournament begins.
"Kuldeep is a rhythm bowler, we all know that. But we thought of a lot of things and took this call. His bowling is going well, like Ajit [Agarkar] said, we had to give players a chance, especially those who played just one game at the Asia Cup and are in the World Cup squad," Rohit said at a press conference.
"We have been looking at Kuldeep for the last one, one and a half years, this is why we don't want to expose him a lot. He is coming back for the last match. There are a lot of reasons. This is the best decision for us, to have him sit out for two games and play the third. We also have two practice matches [before the World Cup opener], so for the bowling rhythm, he will be back in it," Rohit added.
India will kick off the series on September 22 at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.
India's squad for Australia series:
For first two ODIs: KL Rahul (capt), Ravindra Jadeja (vice-capt), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Tilak Varma, Prasidh Krishna, R Ashwin, Washington Sundar
For third ODI: Rohit Sharma (capt), Hardik Pandya (vice-capt), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Virat Kohli, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel (subject to fitness), R Ashwin, Washington Sundar.