ICC ODI World Cup 2023, India has made a strategic change in its squad. Ravichandran Ashwin, the ace off-spinner, has been called up to replace Axar Patel, who couldn't recover in time from a troublesome quadriceps injury.
The announcement of Ashwin stepping in for Axar came directly from the International Cricket Council, confirming the unfortunate setback for the talented Gujarat all-rounder. Despite his best efforts, Axar Patel's left quadriceps injury persisted, leading to the decision to include the seasoned campaigner Ashwin.
Ashwin's entry into the ODI World Cup squad followed his recent inclusion in the series against Australia. In the opening two matches held in Mohali and Indore, Ashwin showcased his bowling prowess, delivering figures of 3 for 41 in seven overs during the second ODI, which greatly contributed to India's impressive 99-run victory.
This isn't Ashwin's first stint in an ODI World Cup; he previously represented India in two editions. His presence was particularly notable in the 2011 World Cup, where India emerged as champions in the subcontinent. However, he missed out on participating in the 2019 World Cup in England, as India chose to rely on the wrist-spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, along with the finger-spin expertise of Ravindra Jadeja, to handle the bowling duties in those conditions.
Axar Patel had been a consistent and vital member of India's squad in recent years. Unfortunately, his road to recovery from the injury, which he sustained during the Asia Cup, proved to be a race against time that he couldn't win.
As India gears up for the World Cup, they will play their first warm-up match against England in Guwahati, scheduled for Saturday. Following that, they will head to Thiruvananthapuram for their second warm-up match against the Netherlands on October 3.
Here's the updated 15-member squad for India in the 2023 ODI World Cup: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Hardik Pandya (Vice-Captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishan Kishan, and Suryakumar Yadav. With this reshuffle, India aims to strengthen its chances in the upcoming cricketing spectacle.