Ashwin to play ODIs against Oz, back in WC reckoning


New Delhi, Sep 18: Seasoned off-spinner R Ashwin on Monday made a comeback to the Indian ODI team for the three-match series against Australia and will be competing for a potential World Cup berth with Washington Sundar if Axar Patel doesn’t get fit in time for the global event.
Senior players including skipper Rohit Sharma, senior batter Virat Kohli, all-rounder Hardik Pandya and in-form spinner Kuldeep Yadav were rested from the first two games, giving them a chance to get mentally fresh for the mega event.
KL Rahul will lead the side in the first two games against Australia before Rohit returns to lead a full strength squad in the third and final ODI ahead of the World Cup beginning October 5. The squad for the third game is effectively the 15 picked for World Cup and Ashwin and Washington.
Ashwin, who last played an ODI back in January 2022 in South Africa, could be a last minute addition to the World Cup side if Axar doesn’t get fit before the September 28 deadline set by the International Cricket Council.
Axar had sustained a quadriceps tear during the recently held Asia Cup in Sri Lanka and missed the final against Sri Lanka on Sunday.
After the squad announcement on Monday, captain Rohit was asked why Ashwin was not part of the Asia Cup squad if he was in the scheme of things. The India skipper responded by saying that a proven performer like Ashwin can be straightaway drafted into the team if the need arises.
The first ODI will be played in Mohali on September 22, second in Indore on September 24 and third in Rajkot on September 27.
Squad for the first two ODIs: KL Rahul (captain), Ravindra Jadeja (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna. (PTI)


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