IND vs AUS: R Ashwin to make ODI Comeback against Australia: Indian captain Rohit Sharma has dropped hints at the comeback of senior off-spinner R Ashwin ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. Following the conclusion of the Asia Cup 2023, Sharma hinted at the possible inclusion of Ravichandran Ashwin for the upcoming IND vs AUS three-game ODI series.
It is important to note that, R Ashiwn, a vital cog in India’s World Cup campaigns of 2011 and 2015, missed out on India’s provisional World Cup 2023 squad a couple of weeks ago. He was neither picked for the Asia Cup 2023, which eventually meant that the selectors have looked beyond him in the 50-over format.
Surprisingly, he has stormed back into the ODI scene, after Axar Patel suffered an injury during the Asia Cup 2023 Super 4 fixture against Bangladesh. As of now, the BCCI has not yet revealed how grave the all-rounder’s injury is and what will be the timeline of his recovery.
With the injury to Axar Patel, India called young Washington Sundar as his replacement for the Asia Cup 2023 Final against Sri Lanka. Sundar immediately walked into India’s playing11, but couldn’t get the opportunity to perform – neither with the ball nor with the bat.
Sundar’s inclusion into the Indian side, even as a replacement, was interpreted as the end of R Ashwin’s World Cup 2023 hopes, however, skipper Rohit Sharma clarified that he has been constantly talking to Ashwin over the phone calls and the senior spinner is very much in India’s plans for the marquee event.
“As a spinner-all-rounder, Ashwin is in the line. I have been talking to him on the phone. The injury happened to Axar at the last minute. Washington was available, so he had to come and perform the role for us,” said Rohit Sharma after he took India to a record eighth Asia Cup title.
The Indian captain explained that Sundar was already at the NCA, undergoing the camps for the Asian Games 2023, so it was a wise decision to call him at the last minute instead of R Ashwin.
“He (Washington) was cricket-fit because he was part of the Asian Games camp (in Bengaluru). I have been very clear with players about their roles. Everyone is in the loop,” he added.
IND vs AUS: R Ashwin to make ODI Comeback against Australia
As of now, India’s provisional squad features Kuldeep Yadav as the sole specialist spinner, with Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel as the all-rounder options.
The Indian management faced harsh criticism for opting for all left-arm-spinners in the World Cup 2023 provisional squad, thereby killing the scope for a right-arm off-spinner.
Interestingly, R Ashiwn fulfills the criteria of a right-arm off-spinner, who is actually also a decent batter. His credibility as an off-spinner with very high potency against the left-arm batters makes him a viable choice for the World Cup 2023 squad. His inclusion into the side will also add variety to the squad, which as of now is lacking.
In fact, the spinner himself confirmed that he would be ready to give his 100 percent should the cricket board ask him to play the ODIs even at the eleventh hour.
“I have been playing for the last 14-15 years for Team India. I have had my great moments. I have had my fair share of failures too. But I have tattooed Indian cricket close to my heart. If they require my service even tomorrow, I will be ready and will give my 100 percent,” Ashwin said in a YouTube video recently on a potential World Cup call-up.
With reports emerging of his potential return, he could very well play the IND vs AUS ODI series, starting September 22. The series would give him decent match practice ahead of the showpiece event happening in India in October-November.
For more details head to ICC’s official website.