India has called up veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for the three-match ODI series against Australia, which will take place immediately before the start of the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup next month. Ashwin, who hasn’t played an ODI since January 2022, is the squad’s third spinner, following Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja.
Notably, the off-spinner was not named to India’s initial 15-man World Cup team and did not compete in the Asia Cup. Before being suspended again, the two One-Day Internationals against South Africa in 2022 were his first in the fifty-overs format for India in five years (since 2017).
Due to the absences of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, KL Rahul will captain the side in the first two matches. The duo returns for the last ODI, with Rohit captaining once more.
Washington Sundar, who flew to Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup final, remains with both sides. Axar Patel, who was injured before the final, is recovering and will play in the third ODI if he is ready.
During the post-Asia Cup press conference, Rohit Sharma stated that he was in contact with Ashwin.
“As a spinner-all-rounder, Ashwin is in line; I’ve been on the phone with him,” Rohit remarked on Sunday. Despite the paucity of recent ODIs, Ajit Agarkar confirmed that Ashwin’s experience provided him the advantage.
“Axar got injured, Washington has already joined the squad for the Asia Cup, and Ravichandran Ashwin brings a lot of experience,” Agarkar remarked during the news conference.
“Ashwin and Washington are both backups. Axar should be OK with the passage of time. We will take a call if the necessity arises.”