While one could doubt and question Ravichandran Ashwin’s recall into the ODI squad ahead of the World Cup at home especially because he has played just two matches in this format since the start of 2018, what one can’t question is his commitment to the sport and work ethic. He has time and again put his hand up for the team and now once again with the management looking for a possible replacement of Axar Patel who could miss the marquee event after an injury during the Asia Cup, the veteran cricketer is leaving no stone unturned to be able to give himself the best chance to contribute for the side.
The same was on display after India beat Australia in the first ODI of the three-match series at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Friday. Post the team’s 5-wicket victory in the series opener, Ashwin was seen rushing for a late-night batting practice session. He got the nets out at one of the pitches and head coach Rahul Dravid was seen fielding at square leg for him. Former cricketers Mark Waugh and Abhishek Nayar, both of whom were part of the broadcasting panel, hailed Ashwin for the effort that he is putting in, knowing that batting could well be the differentiator for his selection in the side, given the current management’s knack of choosing to go for batting depth in the Playing 11.
Take a look at the video of Ashwin’s late-night batting practice here:
— Nihari Korma (@NihariVsKorma) September 22, 2023
In his first ODI after his recall, Ashwin did not get to bat but was effective with the ball in hand, finishing with 1/47 off his 10 overs. Meanwhile, soon after he was named in the squad for this series, Ashwin made sure he got some match practice and participated in a local league match organised by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association. Even in that game, he had walked out to bat for the Take Solution MRPA, another indication of his devotion to the sport and the team’s needs.