The India vs Australia ODI series narrative has been dominated by the inclusion of one player – Ravichandran Ashwin. The off-spinner is set to play his first ODI since 2022 when the India vs Australia series starts on Friday. The India vs Australia ODI cricket series is being seen as the final dress rehearsal ahead of the Cricket World Cup. The 2023 ODI Cricket World Cup starts from October 5 while the Indian cricket plays it first match on October 8. The much-awaited India vs Pakistan match at the Cricket World Cup will be played on October 14. But much before that, Ravichandran Ashwin will be in focus.
India star spinner Amit Mishra had an interesting observation on why Ravichandran Ashwin was missing from ODIs for a long time.
“Ravichandran Ashwin is undoubtedly a quality bowler and a wicket-taker, but remember this is not a 20-over game. It is of 50 overs. You have to bowl for 10 overs and field for 40 overs and might have to bat as well. No doubt he has been around for so long, has been a wicket-taker as well, but there is that matter of fielding as well and that is why a young player might be picked,” Amit Mishra was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
“The only reason he has been picked is because if a spinner gets injured, then the team needs to have a wicket-taking option, which Ashwin brings. Ashwin has got an edge as an off-spin option, as India already has two left-arm spinners and a wrist-spinner in Kuldeep Yadav,”
“Indian team will be looking at how Ashwin will be bowling against Australia, and to assess if he still has the wicket-taking abilities in this format. The only reason why he is not in the team is because of his fielding and right-handed batting ability.
“Jadeja and Axar are both lefties. Washington is a young player and has shown wicket-taking abilities apart from being a batting option. Plus, he provides an advantage with his fielding, something which holds importance in ODIs,” he added.
A month and half back, Ravichandran Ashwin was eloquently explaining on his Tamil YouTube channel, why a talent like Tilak Varma should be seriously considered for the ODI Cricket World Cup. One of India’s greatest match-winners in Test cricket wouldn’t possibly have envisaged that in six weeks time he would be summoned for a two-match trial against Washington Sundar — nearly a decade and half junior to him. Close selection calls are par for course when it comes to Cricket World Cup squads. But just two weeks before the mega event, the Indian team management has called the two off-spinners for the three-match series against Australia to keep a ready back-up option in case Axar Patel‘s quadriceps tear doesn’t heal on time.
It will be a virtual shoot-out and their performances on flat decks of Mohali and Rajkot will be monitored by Ajit Agarkar‘s selection committee.
“I think Ashwin will be slightly ahead now that a bowler of his stature has been called into the mix. I have always felt that Ashwin should have been in the mix from the time the team got into the ODI Cricket World Cup mode,” said former chairman of selectors MSK Prasad, who was at helm when the 2019 squad was selected.
With PTI inputs
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