Veteran all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin was announced on September 28 as a member of the ODI squad for the World Cup, where he will replace all-rounder Axar Patel, who was unable to recover from a torn quadriceps injury in time.
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A section of analysts had seen Ashwin’s inclusion in the team as a writing on the wall, after Patel missed the third ODI against Australia due to an injury.
Ashwin, apart from being the front-runner to replace the injured left-armer, has also shown good performances with the bowler in the first and second ODIs against Australia. The 37-year-old finished with figures of 1/47 and 3/41 respectively, on both courses deemed high-scoring.
Popular cricket expert and commentator Harsha Bhagle expects Ashwin to be included in the playing XI as well, if all-rounder Hardik Pandya remains a strong bowling option for the team.
“It was always going to be Ashwin after these two matches against Australia. I really feel for Axar Patel and hopefully he will make it to the big stage another day. India would rather go in with more bowling skill than an all-round package. If Hardik bowls well, I see Ashwin in First choice eleven.