Focus again on Ashwin in the last ODI before the World Cup. Cricket

With the ODI series against Australia already won, the third and final match in Rajkot on Wednesday will be an opportunity for India’s World Cup squad to gather and solidify plans before the stakes rise in this important event. not enough!

Indian captain Rohit Sharma during a practice session before the last ODI cricket match between India and Australia (PTI)

Captain Rohit Sharma said that India will have only 13 players to choose from, with Shubman Gill, Hardik Pandya, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur and Axar Patel missing due to various reasons. While Gill has been rested after his century in the second match in Indore, Pandya, Shami and Thakur are absent due to personal reasons. Some players are also seen struggling with viral fever.

Most worrying will be the continued absence of Axar, who is yet to recover from the left quadriceps strain he sustained in the Asia Cup. With the cut-off for confirming the World Cup squads on Thursday, India’s selectors will have to decide whether to persist with Akshar in the hope that he will be available for the opening game against Australia on October 8. Or will go with off-spinner R Ashwin.

While India’s Asia Cup win was an example of them living up to all aspects of their game, the ODI series against Australia has not proven to be the expected dress rehearsal. Sharma, who returned for the third ODI after being rested in the first two matches, is still happy with his preparation.

He said, “I am very happy with the last 10 ODI matches we have played. A lot of guys got back into form, scored a lot of runs and the bowlers took a lot of wickets. In the last few games, we have seen guys coming back from injury and proving their fitness. So, we are pretty much decided at this point as to how we stand,” Sharma told reporters in Rajkot on Tuesday.

To Ashwin’s credit, he has done everything in his control to stake a claim for inclusion in India’s last two matches. In the second ODI in Indore on Sunday, he was one of the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3/41 in seven overs, dismissing Marnus Labuschagne, David Warner and Josh Inglis, a brilliant embodiment of all his attributes. He also performed brilliantly in the first ODI in Mohali.

Ashwin will once again be in the headlines on Wednesday. Another remarkable performance will certainly make it difficult for the selectors to ignore this top bowler for the World Cup. Although Sharma praised Ashwin’s performance so far, he did not give any commitment on the question of selection.

“Ashwin has got class. He has experience of bearing pressure. The only thing is that he has not played an ODI match for the last one year. In the last few matches we saw how well he bowled. “They have a lot of variety,” he said.

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