Former India captain-turned-commentator Ravi Shastri was livid over the fact that Team India's think tank decided to rest Sachin Tendulkar as part of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's rotation policy for yesterday's CB Series game against Australia at the Adelaide Oval.
"It's a joke," is how Shastri reacted when it was confirmed that Tendulkar was not part of the playing XI. "It is a stronger team with Tendulkar in. You've never won a one-day game against Australia in Adelaide. He wants that 100th hundred. Let him get it and walk away,' said Shastri, who, through his comment, indicated that Tendulkar would not be part of the one-day international scenario for long.
"He's going to walk away from the one-day game soon... in one or two months. To hell with the rotation policy! You don't have to rotate Tendulkar at this stage of his career," fumed Shastri in the pre-game show on Star Cricket.
When fellow panelist Ian Chappell highlighted India's poor selection on tour, Shastri said, "they should have used the word 'rested' and dropped one of the senior players here in the Test series. This Australian side can be beaten. This should have been part of India's thinking.
"Some of the selection on this Australia tour has been appalling -- in both, the Test and one-day series. Are you telling me that you don't want your best team to play against Australia?"
Dhoni suggested at the toss that there was a need to keep players fresh for the remainder of the games. Shastri was not impressed. "You lose a couple of games against Sri Lanka and there will be no second leg. You will be on your third leg home," he said. All the same, Shastri would have surely been delighted with India's first ODI win over Australia at Adelaide. He witnessed three of the four previous losses -- two as a player and one as commentator.