Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin has questioned the decision to ‘rest’ Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja from India’s squad for the first three One-Day Internationals of their home series against Australia later this month, in an interview to Times of India on Monday.

“I can understand if both Ashwin and Jadeja are rested for the Sri Lankan series. But when India are playing against a team like Australia, your best spinners should be used,” argued Azhar. “After all, you are playing at home and on wickets that suit them. They should have been given a chance to play the Australian series”

Ashwin is making use of his time off with a stint with English county side Worcestershire. While Azhar appreciated that: “It’s good that Ashwin is playing in the county championship. The county stint will do a world of good to his confidence”, he reiterated that if he was the captain, he would have definitely made them play at home.

Both the spinners who have been instrumental for India in their Test success have not had the best of time in the limited-overs format and were purportedly rested for the series against Sri Lanka.

While calling India’s performance in the recent series against the Lankans “outstanding”, the captain praised captain Virat Kohli but warned that “the real test for this team will come when India travels away from home”.

Azhar also called on the selectors to consider bringing middle-order batsman Suresh Raina back into the team as he had “the experience” and enjoyed “a good track record”.

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