Veteran Indian cricket team spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was not included as skipper Rohit Sharma and chief selector Ajit Agarkar announced the squad for Cricket World Cup 2023 on Tuesday. India went with three spin options in Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel. While Kuldeep was the only specialist spin bowling option, Axar and Jadeja are all-rounder options for the side. While Ashwin has been a mainstay for the side in Test cricket, he played his last ODI back in January 2022. After the squad announcement, Ashwin took to social media to post a special message for the Indian cricket team.
“Go well boys! Home World Cup is always special and let’s ( all of us ) back them to bring it home,” Ashwin posted on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter).
— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) September 5, 2023
The inclusion of wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul, whose fitness was under scrutiny, headlined the announcement of India’s 15-member World Cup squad on Tuesday, as the selectors strived for all-round balance.
Chief selector Ajit Agarkar said there was no concern about Rahul’s fitness, though he did not travel to Sri Lanka for India’s group stage Asia Cup matches.
Rahul is scheduled to reach Sri Lanka ahead of India’s Super 4 matches, starting on September 9 against Pakistan.
Agarkar said the 31-year-old managed to prove his fitness at the NCA on both batting and wicket keeping counts.
The selectors also named Ishan Kishan as the second wicketkeeper-batter, and captain Rohit Sharma did not rule out the possibility of playing both Kishan and Rahul in the 11 if the situation warrants so.
The selection of both Rahul and Kishan meant that there was no place for Sanju Samson, who is currently in Sri Lanka as a travelling reserve for the Asia Cup.
(With PTI inputs)
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