Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has voiced his support for the decisions of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma to skip the T20I series leading up to the ODI World Cup 2023. Both Kohli and Sharma haven’t participated in the shortest format since India’s loss to England in the T20 World Cup 2022.
They last played during the ODI series against West Indies but were largely absent during the T20Is against both West Indies and Ireland.
Speaking about the duo’s choice, Ashwin explained their perspective, stating, “From 50 overs to 20 overs, there is a complete switch in mindset. Both [Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma] of them skipping and getting ready for the 50-over World Cup is a good decision and personally, both of them know their cricket very well since they have been playing for such a long time. So, they are using their experience and want to concentrate on the 50-over World Cup, which is exactly the right thing to do.”
The forthcoming ODI World Cup holds immense importance for India, and the team is heavily reliant on the fitness and performance of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. Concerns revolve around the middle-order batting positions, where various players have been tried out without consistent success.
The likes of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer are potential candidates to fill these positions, having recovered from surgeries during the IPL 2023. While India’s batting lineup remains uncertain, Ashwin expressed confidence in the bowling department.
Ravichandran Ashwin stated, “We know the spinners as well. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. Axar Patel is a backup we have in the spinning all-rounder category. Siraj, Shami, and Bumrah. Bumrah hasn’t played a lot in the last 11-12 months. So, the go-to marquee player for us during this period when it comes to the 50-over format has been Mohammed Siraj. So, I don’t think we can look beyond him. He is an automatic pick.”