Ravichandran Ashwin has been selected to play three one-day internationals against Australia on September 22, 24 and 27. For the first two games, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, and Kuldeep Yadav have been rested. In those two matches, KL Rahul will lead the team. India’s last ODI before the World Cup will feature the regulars.
KL Rahul (captain), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, R Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, J Bumrah, M Siraj, M Shami, Tilak Varma, Prasidh Krishna, R Ashwin, Washington Sundar are the nominees for the first two ODIs.
Squad for 3rd ODI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, R Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, J Bumrah, M Siraj, M Shami, Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel (subject to fitness), R Ashwin, Washington Sundar
As a result of Axar Patel’s injury, the selectors decided to have two offspinning allrounders in Ashwin and Washington Sundar. However, Ajit Agarkar remained optimistic about Axar’s return to the team.
Axar should be okay after his injury, according to our sources. If they get games now, we’ll decide, but at least we have options, which gives the team management options if they have to decide that way. In a press conference, Agarkar said: “There is no need to speculate or make any decisions right now because we hope Axar is fit.”.
Having played just two games over the last four years, Ashwin hasn’t played an ODI since 2022. As Rohit stated after their Asia Cup victory, he had been in contact with Ashwin and that he remained involved. On Monday, he reiterated that thought.
“Look at Ashwin’s experience. He has played close to 100 Test matches, and close to 150 ODIs. Yes it’s in the past but he has consistently been playing Test cricket. With guys like Ashwin, having time on the ground is not so much of a concern which is why we thought if he’s an option for us, we’ll have to get him in.
But you know with the kind of experience he has, it’s just all in the head for guys like him more than the body. We decided to get him in, speaking to him and understanding where he’s at with his body. So it’s not like he’s not playing cricket for the last year or so.
He’s played Test cricket recently in West Indies, and if I’m not wrong played some TNPL games as well. Although there’s no comparison there….but some cricket there. So the games against Australia will give us a chance to look at where he’s at, how he’s bowling and how his body is feeling and things like that,” said Rohit.
In the squad, KL Rahul is elevated to captaincy after almost missing out but returning after Shreyas Iyer picked up an injury late in the game. Iyer missed most of the Asia Cup after recovering from a stress fracture and surgery on his back, while Rahul was able to cement his place in the middle order. Over the course of the Australia series, Agarkar remained hopeful that Iyer would show his full fitness.
“I think he got through his program just fine on Finals Day, and that is why he was selected. We are hopeful that he will do well in these games. He has worked hard to get to this point and get fit.” Although he picked up a niggle, it wasn’t a major injury for him. He will have to get through these games and we’re hoping he will because he is fine at the moment,” said Agarkar.
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