Veteran Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was conspicuously absent from the playing XI led by skipper Rohit Sharma in the third ODI against Australia. This surprising exclusion raised eyebrows among cricket enthusiasts, prompting many to wonder why Ashwin was missing from a crucial match against the Aussies.
Ravichandran Ashwin had made a resounding comeback to the Indian cricket team for the three-match ODI series against Australia. His return to the white-ball format was necessitated by the unfortunate injury-induced exit of fellow spinner Axar Patel from the series. Despite being out of ODI action for a significant period, Ashwin showcased his class and experience in the first two matches of the series.
In the series opener in Mohali, Ashwin’s economy and ability to apply pressure were evident as he conceded just 47 runs and took one crucial wicket in his 10-over spell. His variations and astute bowling troubled the Australian batsmen in the second ODI in Indore, where he claimed three vital wickets for 41 runs in a high-scoring contest.
However, his absence from the playing XI in the third ODI came as a surprise to many. The decision to rest Ashwin was made in the context of accommodating Washington Sundar in the lineup for the final game of the series. Washington Sundar, known for his spin bowling and all-round capabilities, was given the nod as the spin bowling all-rounder for this crucial encounter.
Indian captain Rohit Sharma clarified the reason behind Ashwin’s absence during the toss. He revealed, “Myself, Virat, and Kuldeep are all back. From the last game, Ashwin is also missing, Washington is in. Ishan is not well; he’s got viral fever, so he misses out.” This statement outlined that the decision to rest Ashwin was strategic, influenced by the return of key players and the desire to maintain a balanced team composition.
In a match of significant importance just ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, the Indian team management made calculated changes to the playing XI. The comeback of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Kuldeep Yadav, and Jasprit Bumrah indicated the team’s intent to fine-tune their squad for the marquee event.
While Ravichandran Ashwin may have been absent from today’s match, his recent performances underscore his value to the Indian team in the limited-overs format. His presence in the squad adds depth and experience to the bowling department, making him a vital asset for India’s campaign in the upcoming ICC World Cup.