Shubman Gill, Shardul Thakur sent home ahead of third ODI against Australia; Axar Patel ruled out: Report
India will be without the services of two of their star players in Shubman Gill and Shardul Thakur and will now join the side during the World Cup campaign.
After another comprehensive win against Australia, by 99 runs in a rain-marred game in Indore on Sunday, the KL Rahul-led Indian side stand on the verge of a stellar whitewash in the three-match ODI series before heading into the ODI World Cup at home. They had earlier won the series opener on Friday in Mohali, just days after scripting their record eighth Asia Cup title haul. However, in the final tie, on September 27 in Rajkot, India will be without the services of two of their star players in Shubman Gill and Shardul Thakur and will now join the side during the World Cup campaign.
According to the report on Indian Express on Monday, Gill, who scored his record sixth ODI century at the Holkar Stadium in the second match against the Aussie, and Thakur will be missing the third and final match of the series. They will not fly with the team to Rajkot as they have been given a break by the team management. The duo will next meet up with the Indian team in Guwahati for the India's first warm-up match for the World Cup.
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The Indian team management have been working on planning the workload management for a few players before the World Cup. Earlier, four players in Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav was rested for the first two games against Australia. BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar had explained the move saying: "Luckily we got a fair amount of cricket at the Asia Cup. If not, we would've looked at it some other way. More than physical, sometimes guys need a mental break, which isn't a bad thing leading into a tournament like the World Cup."
The four players will be available for the third and final match against Australia at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium. Jasprit Bumrah will also be joining the Indian team in Rajkot after the star bowler was given a break from the second ODI to visit his family, as revealed in a BCCI statement released on Sunday. Mukesh Kumar had replaced him in the squad.
Meanwhile, a fresh report in Cricbuzz reveals that all-rounder Axar Patel has been ruled out of the third match after he failed to recover from the left quadriceps strain he incurred during the Asia Cup tournament and his now undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.
While Axar's absence raises hopes for Ashwin to make a third straight appearance for India in the ODI series against Australia, where he has performed rather impressively, picking a wicket in the Mohali tie and three in Indore, the report added that the selectors are hopeful of Axar's recovery for the World Cup warm-up matches. This could put the management in for a serious headache over whether to snub Ashwin for the World Cup amid Axar's injury concerns.
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