Former India batsman VVS Laxman backed Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja’s exclusion from the squad for the team’s upcoming series against Australia and termed it a “policy decision” by the selection committee, reported PTI in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Ashwin and Jadeja have been officially “rested” by the Board of Control for Cricket in India for the five-match One-Day International series and the three-match Twenty20 International series against Australia. However, Ashwin has been playing county cricket.

“After the Champions Trophy, the selection committee took a policy decision. They wanted to have a look at some of the wrist spinners, which would add variety to the attack,” said Laxman.

“I sincerely believe that Ashwin and Jadeja have been communicated to by the selectors. The selectors must have told both of them that they want to try two wrist spinners, who are very talented. They will get to play against a top quality side like Australia. Also, it doesn’t mean that Ashwin or Jadeja have been dropped,” added Laxman.

For him, Hardik Pandya is the find of the season who will take on the mantle of a finisher from the likes of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina. “I am very happy how Hardik is taking a lot of burden It’s a tough role to be a finisher but he can play that role that Dhoni and Raina have done for years. Yes, he needs to be a bit more consistent with his bowling,” said Laxman.

He also dismissed the thought that Ajinkya Rahane’s one-day career is in danger due to his recent slump in form. “Rahane is one of the leaders in the group. It’s just that we have a solid left-right combination in Shikhar (Dhawan) and Rohit (Sharma). But Rahane is certainly there in the mix and will get his opportunities,” he said.

He also praised Virat Kohli’s captaincy, saying it had a streak of ruthlessness in it. “I know Sri Lanka weren’t the strongest side but winning 9-0 shows that the team was ruthless. Virat really led the side well.”

Asked to predict the scoreline of the limited-overs series between India and Australia, starting on September 17, he said, “4-1 in favour of India.”

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