India’s World Cup squad has undergone a change due to the unfortunate injury of all-rounder Axar Patel. Patel, who suffered a left quadriceps strain during India’s Asia Cup Super Four match against Bangladesh, has been unable to recover in time for the World Cup.
Seasoned Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin Steps In
Ravichandran Ashwin, the seasoned spinner, has been announced as Patel’s replacement. Ashwin recently made a notable comeback in ODI cricket during the series against Australia, where he claimed four wickets in two matches.
Despite Patel’s conditional inclusion in the squad for the final ODI, subject to his fitness, he was unable to participate in the game, which India lost by 66 runs in Rajkot.
Ashwin’s Experience to Fill the Void
India is banking on Ashwin’s experience to fill the void left by Patel. Ashwin’s off-spinning skills, previously missing in India’s World Cup squad, could be a game-changer in the 46-day-long tournament as pitches start to wear down.
At 37, Ashwin is no stranger to high-pressure games, having played in the 2011 and 2015 World Cup editions for India. In the tournament Down Under, Ashwin claimed 13 wickets in eight matches, helping India reach the semi-finals.
India’s Clear Vision for the World Cup
Despite the squad change, India’s approach to the World Cup remains unaltered. Rohit Sharma, in the aftermath of the three-match ODI series against Australia, stated that the team’s plans for the 15-member squad are clear and any changes will not affect their tournament strategy.
Sharma emphasized the importance of team spirit and physical fitness, stating, “It’s a team sport and we want everyone to play their part – that’s how we win championships. It’s about looking after the body and trying to stay fresh for the next one and a half months.”
India’s Full-Strength Side Despite Patel’s Absence
Despite Patel’s absence from the World Cup, India boasts a nearly full-strength side. KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, and Jasprit Bumrah have all made successful comebacks from long-term injuries, making significant contributions in the games leading up to the tournament.
India’s World Cup journey begins on 7 October against five-time champions Australia. Prior to the tournament, Rohit Sharma’s team will play two warm-up matches, the first against England on 30 September and the second against the Netherlands on 3 October.
India’s World Cup Squad
Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav.
The final squads for the event in India will be announced today. Stay tuned for updates on the ten participating teams.