Rohit Sharma answers burning question on Ashwin as India contemplate last-minute change in World Cup squad

By, New Delhi
Sep 27, 2023 06:27 AM IST

Rohit Sharma has addressed the 'R Ashwin question' in the lead-up to the World Cup. India will meet Australia in the 3rd ODI at Rajkot.

Instead of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, all eyes will be on Ravichandran Ashwin as the veteran spinner has entered the final round of his audition for a place in India's squad for the ICC World Cup. An injury to all-rounder Axar Patel fast-tracked Ashwin's return to the One Day International (ODI) squad for the Australia series.

Rohit Sharma answered the burning question on R Ashwin ahead of the 3rd ODI against Australia(PTI)
Rohit Sharma answered the burning question on R Ashwin ahead of the 3rd ODI against Australia(PTI)

Though head coach Rahul Dravid has clarified that Ashwin is not on trial in the Australia series, the crafty spinner will still leave no stone unturned to make a strong case for himself in the third and final ODI at Rajkot on Wednesday. India's upcoming outing against Australia is set to be its final one before the ODI World Cup. They will play two warm-up matches before the World Cup but this will be the last international fixture.

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The World Cup hosts will also meet the five-time champions in their campaign opener next month. Talking about the 3rd ODI between the two teams, India are boosted by the returns of skipper Rohit and ex-captain Virat Kohli as the batting duo was rested for the first two ODIs against Australia. Speaking to reporters about Ashwin's chances of making it to India's World Cup squad, skipper Rohit acknowledged the bowling heroics of the senior all-rounder in the series decider at Indore.

‘Ashwin has got the class’

“He has got the class. He has got the experience of playing the sport and handling the pressure. It is just that he has not played ODIs in the last year or so. But you cannot take away the class and the experience the individual has over the years and in the last couple of games we saw how well he bowled,” Rohit told reporters.

'He has got a lot of variation up his sleeve'

Ashwin bagged the crucial wickets of Marnus Labuschagne and David Warner in the 2nd ODI to emerge as the pick of the bowlers. “He has got a lot of variation up his sleeve and in case there is a chance, we can look at a lot of things. Hopefully, the way things are at this point, it does well for us because we have got all the backups ready. We have given them enough game-time,” the Indian skipper added.

Rohit also confirmed that India are without the likes of Axar, Shubman Gill, Hardik Pandya, Mohammed Shami and Shardul Thakur for the 3rd ODI against Australia. All-rounder Axar is recovering from a left quadricep injury that he picked up during the Asia Cup. Ashwin and Washington Sundar were added to India's squad for the Australia series after Axar was ruled out for the first two ODIs. Rohit's Team India only has 13 players to choose from for the final ODI of the series.

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