An unfortunate injury to spinner Axar Patel has forced India into making a last-minute change to their International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup 2023 15-man squad. Ravichandran Ashwin has been named as the replacement and traveled to Guwahati with the team on Thursday to take part in the warm-up match against England on September 30.
Ashwin, who has featured in only four One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for India since the start of 2018, is said to have the backing of the team management after he was included in the squad for the recently concluded three-match ODI series against Australia.
This will be Ravichandran Ashwin’s third ODI World Cup appearance. He alongside Virat Kohli are the only two members of the 2011 World Cup-winning squad who will be playing in this edition of the mega event.
Initially, India had not picked an off-spinner in the squad and went with three left-arm spinners in Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
Ashwin impressed in the two outings against Australia taking four wickets in the first two ODI matches in Mohali and Indore. He was rested for the third ODI on Wednesday, with India already winning the series, hinting towards his possible inclusion.
Axar Patel suffered a quadriceps strain in the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh in September. Patel was ruled out of India’s 10-wicket over Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final. Washington Sundar had replaced Axar in the final and the young off-spinner was also in the squad.
However, Ashwin’s performance in the ODI series against Australia and his experience seems to have worked in his favour.
India World Cup squad in full:
Rohit Sharma (captain), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav.