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‘Ashwin has class’: Skipper Rohit Sharma

Updated on: 27 September,2023 07:46 AM IST  |  Rajkot

India skipper Rohit insists veteran off-spinner Ravichandran has bowled well in last two games against Australia and his experience makes him valuable

‘Ashwin has class’: Skipper Rohit Sharma

India’s R Ashwin (right) celebrates the wicket of Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne with KL Rahul (left) in Indore on Sunday. Pic/PTI

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‘Ashwin has class’: Skipper Rohit Sharma

Indian captain Rohit Sharma on Tuesday did not divulge any details on the status of injured Axar Patel but said the rhythm Ravichandran Ashwin showed in the first two ODIs has assured him of back-up options for the World Cup in case of an eventuality.

Patel had suffered a left quadricep injury ahead of the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka earlier this month, and is currently recuperating at the NCA.

The performance of Ashwin in the first two ODIs against Australia has also sparked the debate whether the veteran off-spinner should make it to India’s 15-member squad if Patel fails to recover in time.

Sept 28, the cut-off date

The cut-off date for teams to finalise their 15-member squad is September 28.

“He has got the class. He has got the experience of playing the sport and handling the pressure. It is just that he has not played ODIs in the last year or so,” said during the pre-match press meet.

Rohit SharmaRohit Sharma

“But you cannot take away the class and the experience the individual has over the years and in the last couple of games we saw how well he bowled,” Rohit said.

Rohit expressed satisfaction over Ashwin’s effort and said it indeed gives them an option to fall back upon.

“He has got a lot of variation up his sleeve and in case there is a chance, we can look at a lot of things. Hopefully, the way things are at this point, it does well for us because we have got all the backups ready.

“We have given them enough game-time,” he said.

Also Read: Rohit Sharma looks at Ashwin as a match-winner: Saba Karim

Rohit, who was rested for the first two ODIs against the Aussies, expressed happiness over the fact that the Indian team has been able to overcome challenges with success.

“I am very happy with the last 10 ODIs that we played. A lot of guys came back into form (by) scoring lots of runs and the bowlers are taking lots of wickets. In the last few games, we saw the guys who came back from injuries have proven their fitness,” he said.

“[We are] pretty much settled in how we stand, where we stand. Now, it is about taking this whole situation forward in the best possible way,” he added.

Five players unavailable

Rohit said five players, including in-form Shubman Gill, will not be available for selection for the third ODI against Australia, as the squad has been hit by a viral sickness and some players have opted to return home.

While Gill is rested, Axar Patel is recuperating at NCA from the left quadricep injury that he suffered during the Asia Cup. “We have got a lot of players who are sick and not available, a lot of players have personal problems so they have gone home and a few of the guys have been rested as well.

“We have got 13 players at this point in time,” said Rohit during the pre-match press meet.  “Obviously, Gill has been rested, Shami, Hardik and Shardul have all gone home, again, personal things. Axar, obviously, is not available for this game,” Rohit said.

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