With the impressive triumph in the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka, India has announced its squad for the upcoming three-match ODI series against Australia, which is the final preparation for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. The squad selection, led by Chief Selector Ajit Agarkar, features notable changes and interesting talking points.
Rest for Key Players: India has opted to rest some of its key players, including captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, and Kuldeep Yadav, for the first two ODIs of the series. This decision allows these players to recharge ahead of the World Cup, intending to field a full-strength squad in the final ODI.
Jasprit Bumrah’s Inclusion: Jasprit Bumrah, who recently returned from injury, has been included in the ODI series squad against Australia. Some may question whether Bumrah should have been rested for the initial matches, considering his injury history and the need to manage his workload. However, his presence strengthens India’s bowling attack and offers valuable match practice for the World Cup.
Shreyas Iyer’s Comeback: Shreyas Iyer, who had to miss most of the Asia Cup due to back spasms, has earned a spot in the squad for the ODI series. This opportunity could be crucial for Iyer to make an impact and secure his place in the playing XI for the World Cup, especially with competition from players like Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul in the middle order.
KL Rahul as Captain, Ravindra Jadeja as Vice-Captain: With Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya resting for the initial two ODIs, KL Rahul has been named the captain, and Ravindra Jadeja is the vice-captain. KL Rahul, who has been in fine form, will lead the Indian team without Rohit Sharma for the initial two matches. Rahul’s leadership role allows him to showcase his captaincy skills on the international stage. This marks a significant moment for Rahul as he takes on the leadership role while Jadeja serves as his deputy. It’s Jadeja’s first appointment as vice-captain of the Indian cricket team.
Inclusion of Two Off-Spinners: The squad for the ODI series features the inclusion of two off-spinners, Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar. Ashwin is returning to ODI cricket after an extended absence, while Sundar, who replaced Axar Patel in the Asia Cup final, has retained his place. Neither Ashwin nor Sundar is part of the 15-man squad for the World Cup, making this series an opportunity for them to leave a lasting impression on the selectors.
India’s squad selection for the ODI series against Australia is marked by the strategic resting of key players and the inclusion of promising talents. KL Rahul’s captaincy stint, Jasprit Bumrah’s return, and the opportunities provided to players like Shreyas Iyer and Washington Sundar add depth and intrigue to the preparations for the World Cup.
India Squad for the first 2 ODIs:
KL Rahul (C, WK), Ravindra Jadeja (Vc), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan (Wk), Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, Ravi Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna.
India Squad for the third ODI
Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (Wk), 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), Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar.