In a stunning turn of events, the cricketing world is abuzz with the news that veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin might make a remarkable return to India’s ODI squad. This unexpected twist comes as Ashwin has been selected for the upcoming ODI series against Australia, ostensibly as cover for the injured Axar Patel. Let’s dive into the details and what this means for India’s World Cup preparations.
Why Ashwin’s Inclusion is Significant Ashwin, renowned for his remarkable achievements in Test cricket, has seen limited opportunities in white-ball cricket recently. His inclusion in the 15-member squad for the first two ODIs and as one of the two reserves for the third match against Australia has raised eyebrows. While not officially part of India’s World Cup squad, changes can be made until September 28th, subject to approval from the International Cricket Council (ICC).
A Shift in Strategy When India initially announced their World Cup squad, it hinted at a cautious approach rather than a confident pursuit of victory. The team focused on pitch selection, opting for slow turners against strong teams but later reconsidered, seeking a more balanced approach. In this shuffle, spinners like Yuzvendra Chahal were left out, and surprisingly, Ashwin was overlooked. This decision drew attention because Ashwin, as a batsman, can contribute effectively if conditions favor spin.
What Does the Squad Look Like? For the first two ODIs against Australia, senior players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, and Kuldeep Yadav will be resting. KL Rahul will lead the side in these matches. Ashwin’s inclusion suggests that India’s team management is open to evaluating their options and making changes as needed.
Why Ashwin’s Experience Counts Ashwin has been consistently performing in Test cricket, ensuring that his match fitness remains intact. Even if his white-ball cricket appearances have been limited, he has been active in tournaments like the Tamil Nadu Premier League. According to Rohit Sharma, India’s skipper, Ashwin’s experience could be invaluable, and his recent outings in T20 leagues indicate that he’s game-ready.
Chasing Success in the World Cup India’s recent dominant performance against Sri Lanka has elevated expectations for the upcoming World Cup. However, Rohit Sharma emphasizes the importance of maintaining balance and ensuring a strong bench of players. Injuries can occur during a tournament with extensive travel, making a robust squad crucial.
The Ashwin Factor in India’s World Cup Plans Considering the venues for the World Cup matches, Ashwin’s inclusion could play a pivotal role. Many of these venues, including Chennai, Lucknow, Kolkata, and Delhi, are known for spin-friendly pitches. Ashwin’s experience, skill, and ability to contribute with the bat make him a valuable asset, especially in conditions favoring spin.
Conclusion While Ashwin’s inclusion in the ODI series against Australia isn’t a direct ticket to the World Cup, it signifies a willingness on India’s part to adapt and reconsider their squad composition. As cricket fans eagerly await the final World Cup squad announcement, Ashwin’s potential return adds an intriguing layer to India’s quest for success in the tournament.
Why was Ravichandran Ashwin included in the ODI series against Australia?
Ashwin was included as cover for the injured Axar Patel in the ODI series against Australia.
Is Ashwin officially part of India’s World Cup squad?
No, as of now, Ashwin is not officially part of India’s World Cup squad. Changes can be made until September 28th, subject to ICC approval.
Why was Ashwin overlooked in the initial World Cup squad announcement?
The initial squad selection focused on pitch conditions and a balanced approach. Ashwin’s inclusion was reconsidered to adapt to varying conditions.
What makes Ashwin’s inclusion significant for India’s World Cup preparations?
Ashwin’s experience, skill, and ability to perform in spin-friendly conditions make him a valuable asset, especially in venues known for spin pitches.