Ace off-spinner R. Ashwin has been drafted into India’s World Cup squad instead of Axar Patel, who got injured during the team’s Asia Cup campaign in Sri Lanka earlier this month.
The Tamil Nadu player will be making his third 50-over World Cup appearance and is only one of two members of the victorious 2011 title-winning squad alongside Virat Kohli.
Earlier this month, Ashwin returned to the one-day set-up for the three-match one-day series against Australia that concluded on Wednesday, indicating he was being looked at as a possible replacement.
Ashwin played the first two matches, which India won and scalped four wickets with a best effort of three for 41 in the second game at Indore.
Axar, who was named in the squad earlier this month, sustained a left quadriceps strain during India’s Asia Cup Super Four encounter against Bangladesh. With the all-rounder not fully recovered, the team management has gone in for the experience of Ashwin.
Before the two games he played this month, Ashwin last played a one-day series back in 2022 in South Africa. The wily off-spinner will add variety to the team’s bowling attack alongside left-arm spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.
With 155 wickets from 115 one-day internationals, Ashwin brings a lot of experience to the squad. The selection also marks a remarkable second wind for the 37-year-old in white-ball cricket after being dropped from the side in 2017. He has now made the squad for the last three ICC events (the 2021 T20 World Cup, the 2022 T20 World Cup and the 2023 50-over World Cup).
India will kickstart its World Cup campaign against Australia at Chennai’s M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, and Ashwin could make a remarkable homecoming in the 50-over World Cup in his backyard.
India ODI World Cup squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav.
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