Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (Image Credits: Twitter)

Last Update on: September 19th, 2023 at 10:32 am

Having not played an ODI for nearly two years, Ravichandran Ashwin is now in contention to play in the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023 after earning a surprise recall for the forthcoming series against Australia.

Ravichandran Ashwin’s ODI career looked as good as over after he fell down the pecking order. Since the beginning of 2018, the ace spinner has played just two ODIs. He last played a 50-over match for Team India in January 2022. It was his comeback series in ODIs and he was dropped from the team straight away.

But with two weeks remaining before the World Cup gets underway, the spinner has been added to the India squad for the Australia series. It will be India’s last assignment before the marquee event gets underway on October 5. Ravichandran Ashwin has earned the recall after Axar Patel sustained an injury in his left quadriceps during the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh last week.

Axar is a part of India’s 15-member squad for the World Cup but the injury has put his participation in the tournament in doubt. In case he fails to recover in time for the tournament, Ravichandran Ashwin might play his third ODI World Cup. Apart from the Tamil Nadu star, Washington Sundar is also in contention to replace Axar in the squad.

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Arjuna Ranatunga on Ravichandran Ashwin’s recall in ODIs:

With Ravichandran Ashwin earning a recall from the Indian ODI team, former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga has said he would like to see the spinner in the team. Ranatunga stated that Ravichandran Ashwin’s inclusion will be a good option for Team India since they have only one specialist spinner in the team in the form of Kuldeep Yadav.

“I don’t know whether India has two proper spinners. They have good all-rounders, who happen to be spinners but I can’t see a proper spinner in this side. On Indian pitches, they need a strong group of spinners. If not, it would be a disadvantage for India,” Ranatunga told The Indian Express.

“Of course, there is Kuldeep Yadav, he can be a match-winner as he showed against Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup. He is pretty clever from what I see, especially when it comes to using the variations.

“But you need one more to support him who could contain and attack because teams will try to target him and unsettle. Especially when you play against England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, sometimes you might have to play 3 spinners without affecting the balance of the team. And India doesn’t have a batsman who can bowl. Jadeja who bowls, bats at No 7,” he added.

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Talking about Ravichandran Ashwin, the Sri Lanka legend said: “You take Pakistan and England, they have proper spinners. So that is something I’m sure India will address before the World Cup. They are looking more at the all-rounders like Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel, but I personally feel that they should have someone like R Ashwin in the squad, if not in the XI. When he plays, he can be a match-winner for you.

“He may be slightly older, he might be slightly slow on the field, but you need guys in the sub-continent who can contain and can take wickets. Sides that want to win most of the games, they do so by taking wickets and for that you need to have a balanced all-round attack. If someone like Anil Kumble is in that side then I will tag them as firm favourites, but they have a problem to address with their spinners,” he added.

Meanwhile, the three-match ODI series between India and Australia is scheduled to be played from September 22. After the series, India will gear up for the World Cup. The Men in Blue are scheduled to start their campaign on October 8 by taking on five-time world champions Australia in Chennai.

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