The BCCI, on September 18, 2023, named the Indian squad for the three ODI series against Australia which will begin from September 22 onwards. This will be the final bilateral assignments for either team before the ICC World Cup begins.
The BCCI named two squads with KL Rahul leading the Indian team in the first two matches with Ravindra Jadeja as his deputy. Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Kuldeep Yadav, and Hardik Pandya have been rested for these two matches.
But all the big guns return for the third ODI match as it will be the final match before the World Cup warmups and the main tournament.
In place of Kuldeep, Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar have made their place to provide India with further options as allrounder Axar Patel continues to recover from his injury.
The inclusion of R Ashwin was a huge surprise for everyone, given that in the past 6 years, since 2017, the Tamil Nadu off-spinner has played only 11 ODIs, 9 of which came in 2017 and 2 in 2022, and has taken 9 wickets in those matches.
However, Ashwin has a knack for making a comeback in white-ball formats as he played in the previous two T20 World Cups and now the Indian team management is leaving no stone unturned given the injury concerns and lack of variety in the spin department.
This inclusion of Ashwin in the Indian ODI squad has left the Indian cricket team fans with mixed feelings which they shared on social media platform X. Some rejoiced at the return of the ace off-spinner, while others criticized the team management for going back to Ashwin.
Here are the reactions: