‘Ashwin in line’: Rohit Sharma keeps options open for India’s all-rounder slot in ODI World Cup – Magazine Creations

While India’s win over Sri Lanka in the 2023 Asia Cup final showed a team at its best, it also exposed the ongoing selection dilemma regarding overall position for the upcoming ODI World Cup.

India’s conquest of Colombo was nothing less than a great lesson in cricket. Led by Mohammed Siraj’s six wickets and Hardik Pandya’s three wickets, Sri Lanka were bowled out for just 50 runs.

The modest target was chased down quite easily by Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan with a lead of just 6.1 overs. Gil’s performances throughout the tournament earned him top spot on the top scorers’ list with a total of 302 points in six matches.

But the win hides a key question that Team India will have to answer soon: Who will join confirmed selection Ravindra Jadeja as the second all-rounder in the ODI World Cup? The team management, under the supervision of Rahul Dravid, is yet to find a convincing answer.

Washington Sundar, who held the position during the Asia Cup, and Axar Patel, another contender, were part of the recent squads. Ravichandran Ashwin, despite being an experienced player, was left out of the Asia Cup squad and preliminary squad for the World Cup.

After winning the Asia Cup, Rohit Sharma indicated that the team may undergo changes. His statements indicated continuous communication with Ashwin and acknowledged Sundar’s readiness for the match due to his participation in the Asian Games camp. The sudden injury to Axar Patel has added another layer of complexity to the problem.

Hope for Ashwin

“As an all-rounder, Ashwin is in line. I was talking to him on the phone. There was an injury to Axar at the last minute. Washington was available, so he had to come in and play the role for us,” Rohit was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.

With the deadline to decide the World Cup squad set for September 28, there is still time to make changes. As India prepares to open their World Cup campaign against Australia on October 8 in Chennai, the issue of second place remains a crucial issue yet to be resolved.

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Updated: Sep 18, 2023, 12:44 PM IST


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