Team India secured a convincing victory over Australia in the second ODI, sealing the three-match series with one game to spare. The Indian team showcased its batting prowess at the Holkar Stadium in Indore, posting a formidable total of 399 for 5 in 50 overs. However, as the team prepares for the third and final ODI in Rajkot, news has emerged that two key players, Shubman Gill and Shardul Thakur, will be rested. Here’s why these players are being rested and what it means for India’s preparations for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023.
In the second ODI, India’s batting lineup showcased its depth and power. After losing opener Ruturaj Gaikwad early, the team rallied with exceptional performances from Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer, both of whom scored centuries. Stand-in captain KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav added to the tally with fifties, propelling the team to a formidable total. Suryakumar Yadav’s explosive unbeaten 72 off just 37 balls was particularly impressive.
Australia, in response, faced an imposing target of 399 runs (revised to 317 in 33 overs due to rain). However, they were never able to build momentum and were eventually bowled out for 217 in the 29th over. India’s dominant performance not only secured the series win but also sent a strong message to their opponents ahead of the upcoming ICC World Cup.
With the series already secured and the ICC World Cup 2023 on the horizon, India’s team management has decided to rest Shubman Gill and Shardul Thakur for the third ODI. This move is part of a strategy to manage player fitness and freshness in the lead-up to the prestigious tournament.
Both Gill and Thakur will not feature in India’s playing XI for the final ODI in Rajkot. Instead, they will skip the Rajkot fixture and join the team in Guwahati, where India will commence their ODI World Cup campaign. This decision is in line with the team’s broader strategy of ensuring that key players are in the best possible shape for the World Cup.
India has adopted a rotation policy to rest players at strategic intervals to prevent injuries and fatigue. In the earlier matches of the ongoing series against Australia, India rested several star players, including Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, and Kuldeep Yadav. All four of these players will return to the squad for the third ODI, with Rohit Sharma resuming his role as captain.
In addition to Gill and Thakur, fast-bowler Jasprit Bumrah missed the second ODI due to personal reasons. He is expected to rejoin the team for the third ODI, providing a significant boost to India’s bowling attack. Bumrah’s return will further bolster the team’s preparations for the upcoming World Cup.