Head coach Rahul Dravid opened up on the return of veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s return in the white-ball set-up with the upcoming three-match ODI series against Australia. The injury of Axar Patel might open doors for R Ashwin in India’s final World Cup squad, however, he still has to prove his mettle in the ODIs against Australia. Ashwin has not played an ODI since January 2022 when he last played against South Africa. However, he has a chance to make a last-minute entry into the Word Cup squad.
Dravid talked about Ashwin’s sudden inclusion in the white-ball set-up and said that he was always in the team’s plans in case of any injury.
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“Having someone of Ashwin’s experience to come back is always good for us. Someone like Ashwin provides you that experience, that ability to be able to also contribute to bat at number eight. He was someone that we always thought of in case there were certain injuries or in case a certain opportunity opened up then,” Dravid said in the press conference on the eve of the first ODI series.
The Indian head coach also acknowledged Ashwin’s absence from ODIs for the past year and said that players with such experience can deal with that easily.
“He was someone, who was definitely always a part of our plans. I know he has not played a lot of One Day cricket over the last year but you know, someone of his experience probably can deal with that,” he added.
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Dravid further suggested that the three-match ODI series won’t be a trial for Ashwin but will be an opportunity for him to get his rhythm back in the 50-over format which he will be playing after a long time.
“It’s a good thing that we have players which we can look up in case of injuries. He was always in our plans that we would bring Ashwin in case of injuries. It will be a good opportunity for him to test himself as he has not played 50-over cricket for a long time. I won’t say it’s a trial for him, we know his quality. This is not a trial but an opportunity for him to play in this format. We just want to give him the opportunity to play 2-3 games if required,” Dravid said.