Last Updated: September 28, 2023, 12:18 IST
The three-match ODI series against Australia has added a layer of intrigue to the India’s final squad announcement for the world cup. An injury to Axar Patel ahead of the Asia Cup final in Sri Lanka prompted the team management to recall Washington Sundar and then for the Australia ODIs, offspinner Ravichandran also made a surprise return.
While Axar is reportedly set to get fit in time for India’s warmup matches, questions remain whether Ashwin will sneak into the 15-man squad after his eye-catching performance with the ball in the first two matches that saw him pick four wickets and regularly beat both the edges of batters.
Today is the deadline for finalising squads and when India coach Rahul Dravid was asked if Ashwin has a chance, he said it’s better to wait for an official announcement.
“We have to wait for an official confirmation or a decision on that. The NCA is in touch with the selectors and Ajit (Agarkar) so I will not make any comments on that. If there is any change you will get to hear about it officially, as of now there are no changes,” Dravid said.
For the third and final ODI against Australia which India went on to lose, the hosts had just 13 players to chose from. Shardul Thakur, Hardik Pandya and Mohammed Shami returned home while Ishan Kishan was down with illness.
However, Dravid expects a full strength squad to assemble for the team’s first warm-up clash against England in Guwahati on September 30.
“We’ve had a few issues with viral (fever) going around the group. It was a balancing act in this game, because of people going home for personal reasons, and a team leaving for the Asian Games tonight, so some guys like Rutu and Tilak had to join that team. I’m expecting everybody to be there at Guwahati by 28th night or 29th early morning, and hopefully the bug going around the ground has cleared up as well,” Dravid said.
“There was a bit of juggling we had to manage in this game but I am hoping that we have got about a week, we have got a few days. We should have the full strength squad, hopefully the bug around the group has cleared out as well. It will be nice if that happens,” he added.