Axe hanging on non-performing players

Mumbai: A number of players, now touring Australia, are likely to be axed when the national cricket selectors meet here on February 29 to choose the team for the Asia Cup cricket tournament, that will also feature Pakistan Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The meeting of the selection committee, to be chaired by Krishnamachari Srikkanth, comes after another crushing defeat for India in the tri-series match against Australia in Sydney in which players like Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja stood out as failures.

Jadeja, who was bought by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni`s Chennai Super Kings for a whopping USD 2 million, failed again by making only 8 runs to give team a total of 101 runs in seven matches of the tri-series for an average of 16.83.

He has been touted as an all-rounder but has taken only two wickets for an average of 142.

The limitation of Raina, who has an excellent record at home, was exposed again in today`s match when he scored just 8 runs to give him an aggregate of 142 runs in seven matches for an average of 20.28.

His excellent fielding may not be enough for him to retain his place.

A key question before the selectors would concern Sachin Tendulkar -- whether he would make himself available for selection and whether he will be picked up after a poor run in ODIs in Australia.