CONFIRMED: Ravichandran Ashwin replaces Axar Patel in ODI World Cup squad
In a recent development coming in from the Indian camp, veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will replace young left-arm spinner Axar Patel in the 2023 ODI World Cup squad. The decision comes following Axar's injury which saw him miss the series finale against Australia which India lost by 66 runs.
India has relied on the seasoned Ashwin to step in for Axar to fill a crucial void for the mega-event. Moreover, Ashwin introduces an off-spinning dimension that was previously absent in India's World Cup squad, potentially proving pivotal in the 46-day tournament as pitches wear down.
Ashwin brings the advantage of prior experience on the grand stage, having featured in both the 2011 and 2015 editions of the World Cup for India. During the tournament in Australia, Ashwin claimed an impressive 13 wickets in eight matches, contributing significantly to India's journey to the semi-finals.
The Rohit Sharma-led side will play two warm-up matches against England and Netherlands on September 30 and October 3 respectively before playing their tournament opener against Australia on October 8.
Australia makes late change to their World Cup squad
A last-minute alteration was also done to Australia's squad for this year's Men's Cricket World Cup due to an injury. Spinner Ashton Agar has been ruled out of the event due to a calf injury. Although Agar's most recent ODI appearance for his country occurred earlier this month against South Africa in Bloemfontein, the 29-year-old has been unable to overcome his persistent calf issue.
Consequently, his spot in Australia's 15-player squad at the World Cup will be assumed by seasoned batter Marnus Labuschagne. Labuschagne was originally left out of Australia’s preliminary squad for the tournament, but some good recent form in 50-over cricket against South Africa and India has provided the right-hander a late lifeline.