"Ashwin in line.." - Rohit Sharma reveals veteran offie is in the mix for ODI WC
India skipper Rohit Sharma has highlighted that veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin remains a strong contender for their World Cup campaign, despite his initial exclusion from the provisional squad. India's 15-member squad, playing on home soil, featured Kuldeep Yadav as the sole specialist spinner supported by spin-bowling all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel. However, when Axar Patel sustained an injury just before the Asia Cup final in Colombo, India chose to call up Washington Sundar as a replacement, opting against the 37-year-old Ashwin.
Ultimately, Sundar didn't have the opportunity to bowl as India swiftly dismissed Sri Lanka in a mere 15.2 overs to secure a historic and dominant 10-wicket victory. Rohit clarified that Sundar's selection shouldn't be construed as an indication that Ashwin, who last participated in ODIs in January 2022 has slipped in the pecking order.
"As a spinner all-rounder, Ashwin is in line. I have been talking to him on the phone," Rohit told reporters after India lifted the Asia Cup for the eighth time.
"The injury happened to Axar at the last minute. Washington was available, so he had to come and perform the role for us," the Indian skipper added.
Rohit gives an update on Shreyas Iyer's injury
Teams have the flexibility to make changes to their squads until September 28. While the victory provided a timely boost ahead of the World Cup, batter Shreyas Iyer missed a significant portion of the Asia Cup, including the final due to a back spasm.
"Shreyas was not available for (the final) because certain parameters were kept for him to tick off. I should say he is alright 99% as of now." Rohit explained.
India is next set to host Australia in a three-match ODI series later this month and the teams will face off again on October 8th in their World Cup opener in Chennai.