Ravichandran Ashwin made a surprise return to India’s ODI squad for the upcoming 3-match series at home against Australia. It will be the final frontier for the Men in Blue as they fine-tune their preparations before the ODI World Cup at home.
Ashwin had last played an ODI for India in January 2022, at Boland Park against South Africa but the veteran spinner was included in the ODI squad for the 3-match series against Australia.
Earlier, Ashwin had managed to find his way into India’s T20 World Cup squad in 2022 in a similar fashion, having not played a T20I fixture for a considerable period before forcing his way into the squad as a late entry.
ALSO READ| Ravichandran Ashwin Plays TN Club Game to Get Ready Ahead of ODI Series Against Australia
The 37-year-old will be hoping for a repeat of those heroics and former Indian chief selector MSK Prasad has backed Ashwin to shine against Australia and find his place in India’s ODI World Cup squad.
Indian captain Rohit Sharma and chief selector Ajit Agarkar had previously talked about the likes of Ashwin in their press conference after naming the provisional 15-man squad for the home World Cup, keeping the doors open for the likes of Ashwin, and Yuzvendra Chahal.
While there is no place for Chahal and Sanju Samson in the Australia ODIs meaning they are not likely to be in the plans for the World Cup, Ashwin still has a chance.
Prasad highlighted how Ashwin could be key against left-handers in Indian conditions during a home World Cup.
“This is very good news, I said it previously as well, Ashwin will be a handy option for the Indian team that too in home conditions. He has close to 500 wickets in all three formats combined in Indian conditions. In all teams these days, there are at least 3-4 left-handers, so against left-handers he will be deadly. I hope he can do well against Australia and get selected in the World Cup squad as well,” MSK Prasad told Star Sports on the show Follow the Blues.
ALSO READ| ‘Leaving It Entirely to Fate’: Former All-rounder Terms Ashwin’s Call-up an ‘Unplanned’ Move
The Indian team is due to reassemble in Mohali later on Wednesday ahead of the series opener on Friday. Key players such as captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Hardik Pandya have been rested for the first two ODIs with KL Rahul set to lead the side in Rohit’s absence. The trio of superstars will play in the third and final ODI in Rajkot on September 27.
India’s squad for 1st and 2nd ODI vs Australia:
KL Rahul (C & WK), Ravindra Jadeja (Vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna.
India’s squad for 3rd ODI vs Australia:
Rohit Sharma (C), Hardik Pandya, (Vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel (depending on fitness), Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj