Indian captain Rohit Sharma said that he has been in touch with several players, including veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, for his potential inclusions in the final World Cup 2023 squad as well. However, injuries to Shreyas Iyer and the latest setback to Axar Patel mean that the Indian team may have to add other players to fill those positions if the duo do not get fit for the World Cup. Notably, Axar is confirmed to miss at least the first two ODIs of the upcoming Australia series as well.
While Team India announced their probable 15-member squad a week back, they will have to finalize the team until September 28 as well. At the press conference following India’s swashbuckling 10-wicket victory in the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka, Rohit revealed being in connection with R Ashwin and Washington Sundar for the spin-bowling all-rounder role as well.
“With the spin-bowling all-rounders, I think everyone is in the line. Honestly, (I am) speaking to Ashwin as well, I have been talking to him on the phone. So he is very much in the line. So is Washi. We want those guys who can do the job with the ball and the bat as well,” said Rohit.
Despite R Ashwin being in the race for a potential late addition to the team, Team India went with the young Washington Sundar as Axar Patel’s replacement for the Asia Cup final. Axar suffered a quadricep injury during his steady knock of 42 off 34 balls in India’s six-run defeat to Bangladesh in their final Super Four clash as well. And, Rohit further added that Sundar being match fit made their decision easy.
“Washi was honestly, that Injury happened to Axar late in the night. We had to call a few guys to see where they are at. Washi was available and we had to get him to come and play the role. Luckily, he was with the squad in the Asian Games squad in Bangalore, he was bowling, he was training and he was cricket fit. So he was spending a lot of time on the field. We had to get him,” concluded Rohit Sharma.