India Selects R Ashwin for ODIs vs Australia; KL Rahul to Lead Team in First Two Matches While Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli Take Rest

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India Includes Ashwin and Washington in Squad for Australia Series

India Includes Ashwin and Washington in Squad for Australia Series

By Shashank Kishore

Published on September 18, 2023 • 1 hour ago

R Ashwin last played an ODI in January 2022  AFP/Getty Images

India have included both R Ashwin and Washington Sundar in their 15-member squad for the three-match ODIs series against Australia.

With the World Cup looming and the team intent on testing more of their bench, regulars such as captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, and Kuldeep Yadav have been rested for the first two ODIs. In Rohit’s absence, KL Rahul will lead the side.

R Ashwin’s Return

  • Ashwin last played an ODI more than 18 months ago
  • His selection is a chance for the team management to have him ready
  • Ashwin has been training at the NCA over the past week

Rohit Sharma on Ashwin’s Selection

  • “With guys like Ashwin, game-time and time on the ground is not so much of a concern,” he said.
  • “Which is why we thought if he is an option for us, we need to get him in.”
  • “With the kind of experience he has, for guys like him, it’s all in the head more than the body.”
  • “The games against Australia will give us a chance to look at where he’s at.”

Two Different Squads for the ODI Series

  • The team management’s rationale behind naming two different squads for a short ODI series
  • To give the senior players a “mental break” given the short turnaround between their victorious Asia Cup campaign and the first ODI

India’s Squad for Australia Series

For first two ODIs: KL Rahul (capt), Ravindra Jadeja (vice-capt), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Tilak Varma, Prasidh Krishna, R Ashwin, Washington Sundar

For third ODI: Rohit Sharma (capt), Hardik Pandya (vice-capt), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Virat Kohli, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel (subject to fitness), R Ashwin, Washington Sundar

India’s last ODI assignment before the World Cup presents a chance for highly-rated middle-order batter Tilak Varma to push his case at the highest level. He has been picked for the first two games along with Ruturaj Gaikwad, who will lead India at the Asian Games.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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