Ashwin is recalled to the ODI squad after a year away as India names its roster for the Australia series.

India have named two separate squads for the ODI series at home against Australia before the commencement of the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

India have recalled veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to the ODI squad for the three-match series against Australia right before the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup that begins early next month. Ashwin, who last played an ODI in January 2022, comes in as the third spinner behind Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja. 

Notably, the off-spinner wasn’t a part of the initial 15-member World Cup squad India announced and did not make it to the Asia Cup either. The two ODIs against South Africa in 2022 were his first in five years (since 2017) in the fifty-overs format for India before he was sidelined again.

KL Rahul will lead the team in the first two games with regular skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli rested. The duo return for the final ODI with Rohit leading the side again. 

Both squads retain Washington Sundar, who went to Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup final. Axar Patel, who injured himself before the final, is healing and will play in the third ODI if he is fit.

In the press conference following the Asia Cup, Rohit Sharma said that he was in talks 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. If the necessity arises, we will answer the phone.”

“Rohit is taking a vacation. Others are taking a break. Rohit and Virat have been around for a long time. Hardik was present. Kuldeep as well. They got a lot of cricket in the Asia Cup. Guys need a mental vacation, and our main players will play in the third game.”

The series, which begins on September 22, will be the penultimate one played by any team before the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2023.

Both teams are vying for the No. 1 spot in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Team Rankings. A series victory ensures that India will enter the World Cup as the top-ranked team. Meanwhile, Australia, which fell out of first place with the series loss against South Africa, can reclaim the top spot if  they beat India 3-0. 

According to Agarkar, Shreyas Iyer, who was injured during the Asia Cup, will play the entire series.

“Shreyas Iyer did not choose a stress fracture, or he would not be on this team.” “He’s fit, and we’re hoping he’ll play in all of the games in this series,” Agarkar added.

India has also declared their 15-man World Cup squad, and they have till September 28 to make changes, after which any changes must be approved by the ICC.

Australia has also confirmed their roster for the series, with some crucial players making long-awaited comebacks.

Schedule:

1st ODI: Mohali, Sept 22nd, 13:30 IST

2nd ODI: Indore, Sept 24th, 13:30 IST

3rd ODI: Rajkot, Sept 27th, 13:30 IST

India’s ODI squads for Australia:

Squad for first two ODIs:KL Rahul (c), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Tilak Varma, Prasidh Krishna, R Ashwin, Washington Sundar.

Squad for final ODI: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel (subject to fitness), R Ashwin, Washington Sundar.