‘So you are leaving it entirely to fate’

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Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan was left puzzled by Ravichandran Ashwin’s inclusion in the forthcoming three-match ODI series against Australia. The opening ODI will be contested at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, in Mohali, on September 22. Pathan reckoned that Ashwin is currently one of the best in the business.

However, he believes that his selection in the 50-over format demonstrates a lack of preparation by the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India). Notably, the veteran spinner has not played an ODI match for India since January 2022.

“You can’t get a better spinner than Ashwin in the entire world. But in a tournament as big as the World Cup, where there is immense pressure, you can’t expect a senior player to walk in and play for the team in a format which he hasn’t played for a long time and prove his worth. So you are leaving it entirely to fate. There is no planning here,” the 38-year-old was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

The addition of Ashwin to India‘s ODI roster for the Australia series might be an advantage for the Indian team. The offspinner, one of the team’s most seasoned bowlers, was also on the squad that won the World Cup in 2011. He has also established himself in the 50-over format, with 151 wickets for India in 113  ODIs at an average of 33.5 and an economy rate of 4.94. 

India will clash with Australia in ODI series ahead of upcoming ODI World Cup 2023

The three ODIs will act as a warm-up for the eagerly anticipated Cricket World Cup 2023 in India, which begins on October 5. India will kick start their campaign against the five-time champions Australia on October 8 at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai.

India has a significant advantage going into the ODI series because of their outstanding performance in the recently concluded Asia Cup. The Men in Blue won the championship for a record-eighth time by defeating Sri Lanka in the final, in Colombo. Australia, on the other hand, are coming off a 3-2 ODI series loss to South Africa. 

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