New Delhi: Only days are left in the World Cup. All the teams are busy finalizing their preparations. Team India is also involved in this. After winning the Asia Cup, India now has to play a three-match ODI series with Australia. It will start from 22nd September. Before this series, the injury of star all-rounder Akshar Patel has increased India’s tension. He has not been selected in the Indian team selected for the first two ODIs against Australia.
Akshar will now go to the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore for his rehab. Akshar has only 9 days left to regain match fitness. Because by September 28, all the teams have to submit the final list of the World Cup to the ICC. If Akshar is not fit by then then his hopes of playing the World Cup may be lost. In such a situation, if Akshar Patel is not fit in time, then in his place one of the two players R Ashwin or Washington Sundar can be included in the 15-member World Cup team.
Let us tell you that R Ashwin has returned to the Indian ODI team after about 20 months. It was his birthday just two days ago, so his comeback in the Indian ODI team is a birthday gift for him. Ashwin last played ODI in January 2022 on the South Africa tour. Since then he was away from this format but captain Rohit Sharma always kept repeating that Ashwin was a part of India’s plans for the World Cup but he never got a chance. In the last 6 years he played only two ODIs. Despite this, captain Rohit believes that Ashwin’s experience can be useful in the World Cup.
For this reason, despite not being in the provisional squad for the World Cup, this off-spinner was selected in the team for the ODI series against Australia just before the tournament. When asked whether Ravichandran Ashwin will replace Axar Patel if he is not fit for the World Cup, Chief Selector Ajit Agarkar said, “Anyway, there are some people, both him (Ashwin) and Washington (Sundar). We know about Akshar (Patel)’s injury that he should be fine. Once we know this then it will be easy to decide. But at least we have options. If both of them get some matches now, then (it) benefits the team.”
R Ashwin has a good record at home
Ashwin has a good ODI record at home. He has taken 65 wickets in 42 matches at an average of 30. He was a part of the Indian team when the World Cup was held in India in 2011. Even though he is not playing ODI, he still remains the main spinner of the team in domestic Tests. He has taken 51 wickets at an average of 15 in 8 Tests held in India in the last 2 years. This means that Ashwin has the experience as well as the formula to be successful in Indian conditions.
Apart from Ashwin, Washington Sundar is also in the race
Like R Ashwin, Washington Sundar has also got lottery. He too was not in the World Cup squad and suddenly came into the race as soon as Akshar Patel got injured. He has also returned to the ODI team after 8 months and played the final of the Asia Cup directly. Like Ashwin, Sundar is also a finger spinner and apart from bowling off spin, he can also bat well. He has proved this on many occasions in ODIs. He has taken 16 wickets in 17 ODIs and 29 wickets in 37 T20s. Sundar can bat at any number.
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