Veteran India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been added to India’s final 15-member squad for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. Ashwin, however, replaced the talented all-rounder Axar Patel, who had been named in the provisional squad but failed to recover from his left quadriceps strain on time. Notably, he sustained an injury in the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh on September 15 as well. Ashwin has already travelled to Guwahati with the team, where they will take on England in their first warm-up game on September 30.
Meanwhile, Ashwin, who has played two of the three home ODIs against Australia in the recently concluded series, took the opportunity to return to the format with both hands and claimed four wickets across two matches as well. He scalped 3 for 41 in the second ODI in Indore, as well. Ashwin’s addition will add an offspinner to India’s squad along with the talented Ravindra Jadeja who is a left-arm orthodox and Kuldeep Yadav’s left-arm wrist spin will make it a strong squad as well.
Ahead of the final ODI in Rajkot, Rohit Sharma opined on Ashwin’s ability to do well in the big moments. “He has got the class and the experience of playing the sport and handling the pressure,” the captain had said. “It is just that he has not played ODIs in the last year or so, but you cannot take away the class and the experience… and in the last couple of games we saw how well he bowled.”
However, this is going to be Ashwin’s third ODI World Cup and his second at home. He was a part of India’s winning campaign in 2011 and later played the 2015 edition in Australia too. He wasn’t picked for the 2019 edition as India decided to go in with two leg spinners but since then, they have found a way to reintegrate finger-spin in their game plans as well.
India squad: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), Ishan Kishan (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya (VC), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah