Fans launched a scathing attack on India head coach Rahul Dravid after fast bowler Arshdeep Singh wasn’t included in the playing XI for the second ODI against the West Indies on Sunday. While the left pacer warmed the bench yet again, Avesh Khan was handed his Team India debut. But the ploy to play Avesh Khan backfired completely as he gave away 54 runs in his six overs without taking a wicket. Rahul Dravid received a lot of flak for not giving Arshdeep a chance as social media declared it a “bad decision.”

The Indian cricketers were bemused that despite Arshdeep’s credentials – unlike all other Indian quick bowlers, Arshdeep is a left-armer, he bowls a fine yorker and is highly effective in the death overs. Besides, he swings the ball both ways and yet still finds himself out of the starting XI.

Baffled by the Indian team management’s decision to ignore Arshdeep Singh for the 50-over game against West Indies, many cricket admirers accused Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma of bias in the selection of the national team.

On the other hand, some claimed that Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma were obsessed with Avesh Khan and that’s why they were not noticing the numerous benefits of having a southpaw in India’s bowling line-up.

“The full-strength Indian team will need a left-arm fast bowler to have variety in the bowling attack, but the team management will play Avesh Khan ahead of Arshdeep, which serves no purpose when we already have Shami and Siraj,” an Indian Cricket Team supporter said on Twitter.

“West Indies series was the best way to test Arshdeep Singh ability in ODI! India badly need left-arm pacer who can swing the ball both direction during PP! Not sure what was the reason behind Avesh Khan’s selection as India already have many Right Arm Pacers!” another asked questioning Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma for their decision.

“Arshdeep is so so so clear of this overrated IPL bully Avesh Khan. Don’t know why Arshdeep is not playing,” a third posted on the micro-blogging platform.

“Not saying that Avesh is bad, but since last decade we are struggling for left are pacers and when we are having one, we aren’t trying him. Bizarre,” a fourth mentioned.

“This is a difficult ODI debut for Avesh. His List-A numbers don’t back up his selection either,” a fifth argued.

“T20I success shouldn’t help you play in ODIs. Avesh Khan has an average of 50 in his List A career, Arshdeep has 30. But let’s go with Avesh cause he did well in IPL,” a sixth said as he took a swipe at Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma.

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Several former cricketers, including Irfan Pathan, Sanjay Manjrekar, and current South African pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada have praised Arshdeep in the recent past.

“If you see the IPL numbers in terms of the wickets, the matches are more and the wickets are less, still the selectors backed him and picked him in the squad,” Irfan Pathan said last month.

“There is a reason for that, he keeps the best batters quiet, when he bowls at the death, he keeps Dhoni, Hardik Pandya quiet, bowls consistent yorkers against the set batters,” Irfan Pathan added.

Sanjay Manjrekar even called Arshdeep Singh a better T20 bowler than India’s seasoned campaigner Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

“India always returns to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He’s been a fantastic bowler. However, nowadays, Arshdeep is a far better bowler to have in the T20 team than Bhuvneshwar. He is unquestionably in the top five (among Indian bowlers). I’m sure he’s thinking about what else he needs to accomplish (to get into the Indian side),” Sanjay Manjrekar noted.

Arshdeep made his T20I debut earlier this month against England in Southampton after earning rave reviews for his brilliant bowling displays in the death overs during the Indian Premier League (IPL).

While Arshdeep Singh took only 10 wickets for Punjab Kings in 14 matches in the IPL, he was among the select band of bowlers who ended the tournament with an economy rate of less than 8.

This was possibly the main reason behind the fan ire against Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma.

Arshdeep Singh’s solid performances in the cash-rich league were even lauded by his Punjab Kings teammate Kagiso Rabada.

“I think Arshdeep has been the best death bowler in this competition. That’s what the stats say. He’s a youngster coming in. He’s got a lot of drive, a lot of ambition and he’s got talent as well. And he`s just a good bloke. So it’s nice to have him around,” said Kagiso Rabada.

“I’ve always bowled at the death as well so I know I`m going to bowl at the death but Arsh has just been magnificent and been leading the way in that discipline. Everyone else knows their role,” the South African speedster concluded.