- Every Indian considers himself/herself as no less than a national selector while sharing passionate thoughts about the composition of Team India. Such is the popularity and reach of cricket in India that the game not only evokes tremendous passion among the patrons but also leads to impassioned debates everywhere whenever the topic crops up. No wonder cricket is aptly termed as no less than a religion in the country. As you are aware, cricket cannot get bigger than the ensuing 50-over World Cup in India in October-November 2023 has already created enough enthusiasm, buzz, excitement, and anticipation. This was further fueled when Team India recently won the Asia Cup by comprehensively beating Sri Lanka in a lopsided final.
PC: CricBlog News Desk
- As you must be aware, many participating countries have already named their teams for the marquee event. Team India too has announced the players selecting those who have not only proved their credentials over the years but also are endowed with humongous potential to be a game-changer in their respects. A solid performance in the Asia Cup would warm the cockles of all concerned but a couple of key players still nursing injuries might worry the team management. Take for instance how Shreyas Iyer is struggling with fitness owing to a sling of injuries hampering his preparations. The injury scare to left-arm spinning allrounder Axar Patel would come as an impediment to the team’s preparations leading into the World Cup.
- Before the World Cup kicks off, the Australian team is scheduled to tour India for 3 ODIs. The teams announced for these preparatory matches have thrown an interesting move that would be welcomed by those closely following/associated with the game. Yes, the selectors led by Ajit Agarkar have chosen off-spinning allrounder Ravichandran Ashwin to represent Team India in the ODIs against the Aussies. Mind you, several voices were questioning the rationale of omitting Ashwin from the World Cup squad when the team was chosen in the first place. It appears the injury to Axar Patel might have forced the selectors and the team management to opt for Ashwin who is a clear match-winner bringing in much-needed variety to the bowling attack.
PC: Wisden Staff
- It helps that the World Cup is being played in India, and Ashwin is a great threat to any attack under familiar conditions. His phenomenal record and statistics while playing at home are awesome. He has been a big match-winner for Team India over the years, especially in Test matches. Further, his ODI bowling record is admirable and can add depth to the batting with his clean cricketing shots. The moot point to ponder over here is what will happen if Ashwin performs more than credibly in the 3 ODIs against Australia. What if Axar Patel fails to recover in time for the World Cup? The selectors might be testing the match fitness of Ashwin here, and if he performs on expected lines, expect the man to make it to the final eleven.