Curated By: Aakash Biswas
Last Updated: September 19, 2023, 08:38 IST
Ravichandran Ashwin will be back in India’s ODI set-up after a hiatus of 20 months as the veteran off-spinner was named in the squad for the 3-match series against Australia, starting Friday in Mohali. Ashwin replaced Axar Patel, who sustained a quadriceps injury in the Super Four game against Bangladesh which ruled him out of the Asia Cup final on Sunday.
Ashwin earned his first ODI call-up since December of 2021. He was recently seen training at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), under the watchful eyes of chief VVS Laxman and spin bowling coach Sairaj Bahutule, and is expected to play a local 50-over game before joining the team in Mohali.
According to Cricbuzz, Ashwin will feature in a league of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA). The VAP Trophy’s one-day league is currently underway and the 37-year-old will take the field for Take Solution MRPA side at the SSN College Ground against Young Stars on Tuesday. In fact, he participated in several local three-day games a few weeks ago.
“He wants to spend some time on the ground, and a 50-over game will provide him with that opportunity. He recently visited the NCA for routine maintenance work on his body and to hone his skills under the guidance of spin bowling coach Sairaj Bahutule. He’s determined to prepare himself comprehensively for any and all challenges,” Cricbuzz quoted a TNCA official as saying.
According to Mid-Day, the Indian team management reached out Ashwin when Axar strained his left quadriceps during the Asia Cup. But the former turned down the offer as he was unable to get ready in such a short notice. The management then approached Sundar who took the first flight to Sri Lanka and played the final. Though he didn’t bat or bowl against Sri Lanka but did feature in India’s record 8th title win.
India counting on Ashwin’s Experience
Ashwin has played just 2 ODIs in the past six year. But skipper Rohit, while addressing a press conference on Monday, said that won’t be a concern as the team will count on Ashwin’s vast experience and the fact that he’s been playing cricket consistently, maybe not in one-dayers for India, but in other formats.
“With the kind of experience Ashwin has, he has played close to 100 Tests (94), close to 150 ODIs (113). Yes, it was all in the past but he has been consistently playing Test cricket. With guys like Ashwin, having time on the ground is not so much of a concern which is why we thought if he’s an option, we need to get him in. But with the kind of experience he has, for guys like him it’s all in the head more than the body,” Rohit said on Monday.