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KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane are indispensable for India in Tests. So why play them in the ODIs?

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On Sunday, India will take on Sri Lanka in the first of what is expected to be a painfully one-sided five-match One-Day International series. When the squad was announced, the primary talking point was the inevitable exclusion of veteran Yuvraj Singh. The appointment of Rohit Sharma as vice-captain also made the headlines but an important aspect that did not receive adequate attention was the selection of Ajinkya Rahane and KL Rahul in the squad. It’s a move which could actually be detrimental to the team’s prospects in the long run.

Over the last two years, the amount of Test cricket that India have played has risen considerably, while the amount of limited overs cricket has gone down. India have had a fantastic couple of years in the longest format, and have deservedly established themselves as the No 1 team in the world.

The importance of being KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane

This has primarily been due to stellar performances by several players in the team. Spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been the biggest heroes, decimating batting line-ups and establishing themselves as two of the best bowlers in the world. But the batsmen have also made very important contributions.

KL Rahul has scored seven consecutive fifties (a joint world record),…

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