Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has predicted that veteran India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will replace left-arm spinner Axar Patel in Team India’s 15-member squad for World Cup 2023. Harbhajan also added that Ashwin has been impressive in his return against Australia, adding that his inclusion will add variety to the bowling attack as well.
While discussing Ashwin’s performance in the ongoing series against the Aussies, Harbhajan Singh said on his YouTube channel, “Ravichandran Ashwin has performed really well and I feel he will be in the World Cup squad. Teams can be changed before September 28 and I feel Axar Patel will be out as a variation will be added to the squad. Earlier, I felt they would play Washington Sundar because he was called to Sri Lanka before Ashwin. They have gone with Ashwin because he has the experience. The rest of the team is solid and I hope that the good performances continue.”
However, as per the rules for the ICC ODI World Cup 2023, teams can change their squad before September 28 as well. Any changes after that will require approval from the International Cricket Council (ICC) as well.
“I think he (Ashwin) might struggle to make it to the final 15, but as somebody who has played so much cricket, I think the rest of the group that is with the Indian team for this current series against Australia, they could learn so much about big gameplay,” he again shared.
Meanwhile, Harbhajan Singh has added that swashbuckling batter Suryakumar Yadav should play every match for India in the 2023 ODI World Cup as well. According to him, Suryakumar is someone who has the ability to win matches on his own and, on his day, he can turn any contest for his side as well.
“Suryakumar Yadav should play every match. In whose place, I don’t know. But his name should be the first one to be written down. After that, the other players should be selected. He is a player who can win you games and completely change the complexion of a match. When he performs, he will turn the match into a one-sided one. There is no better player who can bat a batter strike rate,” Harbhajan Singh concluded. “Among finishers, we have Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja, but I feel Suryakumar Yadav should play at No. 5. He should play every World Cup match. No team has a better player than him.”