Axar Patel, who was earlier named in the provisonal World Cup squad, has failed to recover from his left quadriceps strain on time. He suffered the injury in the dead rubber last Super Fours match of the Asia Cup 2023 against Bangladesh.
Ashwin has already travelled with Team India to Guwahati where the Men in Blue will play their first warm-up match against England on Saturday, September 30.
The experienced campaigner grabbed the opportunity on his comeback with both his hands. In the first ODI in Mohali, he gave away 47 runs in 10 overs and picked the wicket of Marnus Labuschagne.
He impressed the most on the second ODI where India scored 399/5 on an extremely helpful batting surface. Ashwin (3/41) showed his class and picked the wickets of Labuschagne, Steve Smith and Josh Inglis as Australia were bundled out for 217.
The inclusion of Ashwin has given India their second specialist spinner. The provisional squad had no right-hand spinner in the team. Ashwin’s off-spin is expected to provide variety in the spin unit which also includes Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja.
Ashwin had rushed out for a centre wicket batting practice after the completion of the Mohali ODI at around 10 PM. The same had hinted that Ashwin was being seriously considered as injured Axar’s replacement. Washington Sundar also got the audition opportunity but management gave senior Ashwin to stake his claims first. Sundar played in the third ODI before leaving to join India’s Asian Games 2023 squad.
The remaining players have retained their spots. KL Rahul and Jasprit Bumrah proved their fitness during the Asia Cup 2023. Shreyas Iyer also made successful return from his back spasm injury and featured in all the three ODIs against Australia. Ishan Kishan, who missed out on the third ODI due to a viral fever, has also been named in the squad.
India squad for World Cup 2023: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), Ishan Kishan (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya (VC), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah