Veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin played a club cricket match at SSN ground in the TNCA VAP Trophy on Tuesday to get ready for the upcoming three-match ODI series against Australia. Ashwin has been recalled to India’s ODI team after more than a year for the Australia series which has increased hopes of him getting a last-minute entry into India’s World Cup squad.
Axar Patel sustained a left quadriceps strain during the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh which has put scanners over his availability for the mega ODI World Cup. R Ashwin and Washington Sundar are the contenders in case Axar fails to get fit for the ODI World Cup
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If 37-year-old Ashwin pips a hamstrung Axar Patel in the final 15 of the World Cup, he will be one of the two existing cricketers (other being Virat Kohli), who were part of the historic 2011 squad.
Ashwin has played just 2 ODIs in the past six years.
Someone, who has always been a dedicated club cricketer even after becoming an international star, it wasn’t surprising to find Ashwin turned up for Mylapore Recreational Club A against Young Stars Cricket Club.
Ashwin’s team lost the toss and was asked to bat first as they managed to score 285 for 7, with Mukunth K (78) and Affan Khader M (79) being the top scorers. Ashwin also got the chance to bat as he scored 12 from 17 balls without hitting any boundaries.
In reply, the Young Stars were bundled for 257 by the 48th over, thanks to Diran VP’s 4 for 59, while Ashwin captured a wicket for 30 in his 10 overs as Mylapore Recreational won by 28 runs.
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Mylapore Recreational Club coach Guru Kedarnath was all praise for Ashwin’s performance in this contest and said, “He is a world-class player; no questions about it. The control he had in today’s tie was absolutely fantastic.” India’s three ODIs against Australia start on Friday in Mohali, followed by the remaining two fixtures on September 24 (Indore) and 27 (Rajkot).
Meanwhile, Ashwin was recently seen training at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), under the watchful eyes of chief VVS Laxman and spin bowling coach Sairaj Bahutule. He last played an ODI in January 2022 against South Africa. The team management is backing him as they feel his experience will help the Indian team in the mega event.