Indian skipper Rohit Sharma and Chief Selector Ajit Agarkar on Monday announced India’s squad for the upcoming ODI series against Australia.
Veteran spinner R Ashwin, who has been absent from the ODI circuit for over a year, has also been recalled to the 50-over format of the game, and his addition to the squad has rekindled hopes of his inclusion in India’s squad for the ODI World Cup next month.
After Axar Patel tore his quadriceps during the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh, Washington Sundar took his position and played in the Sunday's final versus Sri Lanka but the selection committee chose to name both Sundar and Ashwin in the squad for the upcoming ODI series against Australia.
Speaking about the same, Chief selector Ajit Agarkar explained Ashwin's inclusion on Monday, and said that Washington and Ashwin are both candidates for the backup position in the event that Axar doesn't recover in time.
"There are a couple of guys anyways, Ashwin and Washington. Look basically, what is being made known to us about Axar's injury is that he should be okay and we will make it once we know that but it leaves us with the option to check these guys if they need to go that way. If the need arises, we will look at it that way but I don't think there is any need to speculate right now because we are hoping that Axar is fit," Agarkar told the media during a virtual session.
When asked had it been more desirable if the veteran all-rounder was given more chances in the ODI-setup this year before the Australia series, skipper Rohit Sharma said, "With the kind of experience Ashwin has, close to 100 Tests (94), close to 150 ODIs (113) and yes it is all in the past but he has been consistently playing Test cricket and with guys like Ashwin having game time is not so much of a concern."
"It's not like he is not playing any cricket. Yes, he hasn't played the format but he has been playing Test cricket in West Indies, and if I am not wrong, played TNPL as well and although no comparison there but there is still some cricket there, and it gives us chance to look at how he is bowling, how is his body is feeling" he added.
Following the Champions 2017 Trophy, Ashwin was dropped from the India ODI lineup, but he was later reinstated for the ODI series against South Africa in January of last year. After four and a half years, he finally made a comeback but was again sidelined.
Meanwhile, The first ODI will take place on September 22 in Mohali, the second on September 24 in Indore, and the third on September 27 in Rajkot.