India has recalled veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to the ODI squad for the three-match series against Australia just prior to the start of the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup next month. Ashwin, who has not participated in an ODI since January 2022, joins the squad as the third spinner, after Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja.
Notably, the off-spinner wasn’t a part of the initial 15-member World Cup squad India announced and did not make it to the Asia Cup either. Before he was again suspended, the two ODIs against South Africa in 2022 were his first in the fifty-overs format for India in five years (since 2017).
Due to Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli’s respective rests, KL Rahul will captain the team in the first two matches. The duo returns for the final ODI, with Rohit assuming the captaincy once more.
Both squads retain Washington Sundar, who traveled to Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup final. Axar Patel, who was injured prior to the final, is recuperating and will play in the third ODI, pending fitness.
Rohit Sharma disclosed during the post-Asia Cup press conference that he was in contact with Ashwin.
“As a spinner-all-rounder, Ashwin is in line, I have been talking to him on the phone,” Rohit said on Sunday. Ajit Agarkar confirmed that it was Ashwin’s experience that gave him the edge despite the lack of recent ODIs.
“Axar got injured, Washington already joined the squad for Asia Cup and Ravichandran Ashwin brings a lot of experience,” Agarkar said at the press conference.
“Both Ashwin and Washington are backups. Axar should be okay with time. If the need arises, we will take a call.”
1st ODI: Mohali, Sept 22nd, 13:30 IST
2nd ODI: Indore, Sept 24th, 13:30 IST
3rd ODI: Rajkot, Sept 27th, 13:30 IST
India squads for Australia ODIs:
Squad for first two ODIs: KL Rahul (c), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Tilak Varma, Prasidh Krishna, R Ashwin, Washington Sundar.
Squad for final ODI: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel (subject to fitness), R Ashwin, Washington Sundar.