R Ashwin to rejoin Indian team in Rajkot vs England
By SMCS - Feb 18, 2024 10:45 am
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Veteran India Offspinner R Ashwin will rejoin the Indian team in Rajkot on the fourth day of the ongoing third Test against England, the BCCI has confirmed as well. Notably, he had left the team after playing on the second day because of personal reasons and also missed the third day’s play entirely as well.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin takes 500 Test wickets

“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is pleased to announce the return of R Ashwin to the squad after a brief absence due to a family emergency,” it said in a statement. “Both R Ashwin and the team management are pleased to confirm that he will be back in action on Day 4 and will continue to contribute towards the team’s cause in the ongoing Test match. Ashwin and his family kindly request privacy as they navigate through these challenging times.”

However, ESPNcricinfo understands that he could be in Rajkot by lunch and he will also be available to bowl as soon as he is needed despite having spent an entire day off the field. The umpires can waive the requirement of penalty time if they feel the player was off the field for “other wholly acceptable reasons, which shall not include illness or internal injury” according to the playing conditions.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Joe Root

However, Ashwin had taken his 500th wicket in Test cricket on the second day of the Rajkot Test and he also attended the press conference after play. It was only at 11 pm IST that the news of him having left the team came out via a statement from the BCCI. And, the third day’s play had started with England on 207 for 2 in 35 overs in response to India’s first-innings total of 445 as well. But, the host bounced back despite Ashwin’s absence, taking eight wickets for 112 runs on the third day to secure a first-innings lead of 126 as well.

However, Team India’s batters had extended that to 322 for the loss of only two second-inning wickets with Yashasvi Jaiswal scoring 104 before retiring hurt with a back niggle and Shubman Gill unbeaten on 65 as well.