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R Ashwin, KL Rahul Picked for Australia ODI Series

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R Ashwin, KL Rahul Picked for Australia ODI Series

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Ravichandran Ashwin has been selected for the three One Day Internationals (ODIs) against Australia, scheduled for September 22, 24, and 27. In the absence of regular captain Rohit Sharma and senior players like Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, and Kuldeep Yadav, KL Rahul will take over as the captain for the first two matches. The regular players will return for the final game, which is also India’s last ODI before the World Cup.

The choice to include two off-spinning all-rounders, Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar, is a response to the injury suffered by Axar Patel. However, the chairman of selectors, Ajit Agarkar, expressed optimism about Axar’s potential return to the team.

“What’s made known to us with Axar’s injury is that he should be okay. So that’s a call we’ll make once we know that, but at least it leaves us with options if they get games now, and gives the team management options if they need to go that way. If the need arises, we’ll look at it at that stage but there’s no need to speculate right now or make any decisions right now because Axar, we’re hoping that he’s fit,” said Agarkar in a press conference.

Ravichandran Ashwin’s last appearance in an ODI was in 2022, and he has been absent from the 50-over format for quite some time, having played only two matches in the last four years. However, Captain Rohit Sharma had previously indicated after their Asia Cup victory that he had been in discussions with Ashwin and that he was still considered as part of the team’s plans. He reaffirmed this sentiment once more on Monday.


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“Look with the kind of experience Ashwin has. He has played close to 100 Test matches, and close to 150 ODIs. Yes it’s in the past but he has consistently been playing Test cricket. With guys like Ashwin, having time on the ground is not so much of a concern which is why we thought if he’s an option for us, we’ll have to get him in. But you know with the kind of experience he has, it’s just all in the head for guys like him more than the body,” said Rohit Sharma.

We made the decision to get him in, speaking to him and understanding where he’s at with his body. So it’s not like he’s not playing cricket for the last year or so. He’s played Test cricket recently in West Indies, and if I’m not wrong played some TNPL games as well. Although there’s no comparison there….but some cricket there. So the games against Australia will give us a chance to look at where he’s at, how he’s bowling and how his body is feeling and things like that,” he added.

The squad has KL Rahul stepping into the captaincy role, a position he almost missed out on. His elevation came about after Shreyas Iyer suffered a late injury setback. Despite recovering from a stress fracture in his back and undergoing surgery, Iyer faced back spasms that sidelined him for most of the Asia Cup, allowing Rahul to solidify his position in the middle-order. Ajit Agarkar, the chairman of selectors, expressed optimism that Iyer would demonstrate his full fitness during the Australia series.

India squad for first two ODIs: KL Rahul (captain), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, R Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, J Bumrah, M Siraj, M Shami, Tilak Varma, Prasidh Krishna, R Ashwin, Washington Sundar

Squad for 3rd ODI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, R Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, J Bumrah, M Siraj, M Shami, Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel (subject to fitness), R Ashwin, Washington Sundar


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