Indian Cricket Team. (Photo Source: Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images)
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced India’s squad for the three-match ODI series against Australia on Monday, September 18. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has made a return to the ODI team having last played the 50-over format in January 2022 vs South Africa. Apart from him, several senior players such as Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav have been rested for the first two ODIs. Wicketkeeper batter KL Rahul will be leading the team in the absence of Rohit in the first two ODIs.
Meanwhile, Axar Patel, who got ruled out of the Asia Cup 2023 final due to a left quadriceps strain, will also miss the first two ODIs. The three-match series will begin on Friday, September 22 at Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali. The second match of the series will be played at Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore on September 24 while the third ODI will be played on September 27 at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot.
Explaining the reason behind resting the core group of the World Cup squad just ahead of the tournament, Chief selector Ajit Agarkar said that the players need a mental break ahead of the big tournament.
“Rohit is taking a break. Others are getting a breather. Rohit and Virat have been around forever. Hardik has been there. Kuldeep too. They got fair amount of cricket in Asia Cup. Guys need a mental break and come the third game our main players will play,” said Agar in the press conference.
Agarkar further gave an update on Axar Patel and Shreyas Iyer’s injury.
“Iyer has not picked a stress fracture otherwise he won’t be in the team. At the moment he is fit and hopefully will het these three games. He did pick up a niggle but he is fit at the moment. Hopefully, Axar wil be fit, Ashwin brings experience both Ashwin and Washington are there as the backup for Axar. Will look at it when it is time there is no need to speculate about it right now,” he added.
India’s squad for first two ODIs vs Australia:
KL Rahul (c), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Tilak Varma, Prasidh Krishna, R Ashwin, Washington Sundar
India’s Squad for third ODI vs Australia:
Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Axar Patel, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Washington Sundar, R. Ashwin