India Replaces Ashwin in place of Axar
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India has had to make a last-minute change to their 15-member squad for the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. Axar Patel won’t be able to recover in time for the tournament due to a left quadriceps strain he sustained during a match against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup. Because of this injury, Axar Patel missed the Asia Cup final.
In his place, the experienced spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been named as the replacement. Ashwin showed his prowess in one-day international (ODI) cricket in the recent series against Australia, where he took four wickets in two games.
Axar Patel was conditionally named in the squad for the final ODI, pending his fitness, but he missed the game, which India lost to Australia by 66 runs in Rajkot. To fill the void left by Axar Patel, India has turned to Ashwin, who also adds an off-spinning option that was previously missing in the World Cup squad. This could be crucial as pitches deteriorate during the 46-day-long tournament.
Ashwin, at 37 years old, brings experience to the team, having played in the 2011 and 2015 editions of the World Cup for India. During the tournament in Australia, Ashwin took 13 wickets in eight matches as India made it to the semi-finals.
Indian captain Rohit Sharma emphasized that the team is clear about its plans for the 15-member squad for the World Cup, and these changes won’t affect their approach to the tournament. He stressed the importance of teamwork and player fitness, aiming to keep everyone fresh for the upcoming month and a half.
Despite Axar Patel’s absence, India has a nearly full-strength squad, with KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, and Jasprit Bumrah making successful comebacks from long-term injuries. All three players have made significant contributions in the lead-up to the World Cup. Rahul announced his return with a remarkable century against arch-rivals Pakistan in the Asia Cup. Iyer also scored a century in the second ODI against Australia.
Bumrah has shown signs of returning to his best form, including a strong performance against Pakistan in the Asia Cup Super Fours. He put on a remarkable display of death bowling against Australia in the final ODI after facing some challenges in his earlier spells.
India’s World Cup journey begins on October 7th against five-time champions Australia in Chennai. Prior to the tournament, Rohit Sharma’s team will play two warm-up matches, the first against England on September 30th, followed by a match against the Netherlands on October 3rd.
India World Cup squad
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, Ravichandran Ashwin Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav.