R Ashwin returns as BCCI announces India squad for Australia ODI series
BCCI announced the squad for the first two ODIs of the upcoming three-match ODI series against Australia, which is going to be the final chapter of preparation for both the sides before the World Cup fever takes over.
Ravichandran Ashwin’s return to the squad was the biggest highlight, with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli rested for the first two ODIs. In Rohit’s absence, KL Rahul will captain the team, with Ravindra Jadeja named as his deputy. The two senior players will return for the final ODI, with a full-strength squad available at the team management’s disposal.
With all said and done, there is one position in the side which will still have to be figured out as Ajit Agarkar still believes that Axar Patel will be fit before the series. Axar copped a couple of nasty blows to his wrist and forearm while batting against Bangladesh in the recently concluded Asia Cup. As a last minute replacement for Axar, Washington Sundar was included in the side.
Both India and Australia are the obvious favourites to contest for the World Cup title and the three-match ODI series will give the two teams the perfect indication of players in specific roles, that too in conditions that will be similar to the global event. With the World Cup happening in India, it will be intriguing to see if the Men in Blue make a last minute change to their squad for the extravaganza, bringing in Ashwin in place of an injured Axar. However, all of it would depend on how he fares against Australia in the chances he gets in a week from now.
India squad for first two ODIs: KL Rahul (C), Ravindra Jadeja (VC), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Tilak Varma, Prasidh Krishna, R Ashwin, Washington Sundar
India squad: Rohit Sharma (C), Hardik Pandya (VC), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel*, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj