‘Rohit wants to continue with…’: Ex-BCCI general manager’s honest take after Ashwin earns call-up for AUS series


With Ravichandran Ashwin making a sensational return to the One Day International (ODI) format a month before the ICC World Cup 2023, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma has clarified that the senior spinner’s lack of game time is not a concern for his side. Ashwin last played an ODI game for Team India back in January 2022. An injury to all-rounder Axar Patel has paved the way for spinners Ashwin and Washington Sundar to return to the ODI squad in the World Cup season.

Ashwin’s lack of game time is not much of a concern for Rohit (ANI-AP)

If Axar fails to prove his match fitness for the World Cup, either Ashwin or Washington are expected to join India’s squad. Two-time champions India will host the upcoming edition of the ICC World Cup beginning October 5. In the lead-up to the showpiece event, India will meet Australia for a three-match ODI series. India have named Ashwin and Sundar in its squad for the entire series while Axar is set to return for the third and final ODI against Australia. However, Axar’s participation is subject to fitness.

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Reacting to India’s squad announcement for the ODI series against Australia, former cricketer Saba Karim has welcomed the return of Ashwin to the white-ball setup ahead of the ICC World Cup. The former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) general manager of cricket operations said that Indian skipper Rohit considers Ashwin as a ‘match-winner’.

‘Rohit looks at Ashwin as a match-winner’

“I think Rohit Sharma looks at Ravichandran Ashwin as a match-winner and he’s very clear in the kind of approach he wants to portray in white ball cricket. Now with the World Cup coming up, he understands the dynamics of one-day cricket quite well and knows that he has to pick players who have that kind of an attacking mindset,” Karim told Jio TV.

India have rested in-form spinner Kuldeep Yadav for the first two ODIs against Australia. Indian skipper Rohit and ex-captain Virat Kohli will only return to the Indian squad for the Australia series in the 3rd ODI. Vice-captain Hardik Pandya is also rested for the first two games of the three-match series. Rohit’s India will kickstart its World Cup campaign against Australia at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on October 8.

“He also knows that in his bowling lineup, he needs to have out of six, at least five wicket-taking options and if he has Ashwin in the eleven, then that attacking option is available. If you look at all the other players who are in the reserve – they all have that attacking mindset. So, I think Rohit Sharma wants to continue with this aggressive approach that we saw the Indian team play in the Asian challenge,” Karim added.


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