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“Like a May Day Call”, Says Ashwin on Being Picked for World Cup 2023

Indian senior spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who was added to India’s ODI World Cup 2023 squad in the last minute as the replacement player for Axar Patel bowled 10 overs and bagged one wicket at an economy of 3.40 in India’s opening match against Australia.

As per the ICC Men’s Cricket ODI World Cup 2023 schedule, the tournament will begin on October 5 with the first game between England and New Zealand at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad. A total of 48 matches will be played between 10 participating teams across 10 venues in different cities across India.

As of the previous edition, the 2023 edition will also follow the same format where each participating team will play the other nine teams once in the group stage where a total of 45 group matches will be played.

The top 4 teams of the ICC ODI World Cup points table will enter the knockout stage where the winner of the semifinal 1 and 2 will play the grand FINAL game.

Ashwin on Being Picked for World Cup 2023

Ahead of the tournament start, BCCI named Ravichandran Ashwin as the replacement player for the injured Axar Patel. Axar Patel was injured during the Asia Cup 2023 and then missed India’s series against Australia.

The chances of Ravichandran Ashwin in the World Cup squad increased as he performed exceptionally well in the recently concluded India-Australia series. Ashwin played the first two of those Australia games, taking 1 for 47 and 3 for 41, before being rested for the third ODI in Rajkot where Washington replaced him.

Ashwin was added to India’s playing 11 in their first 2023 World Cup game against Australia at Chepauk. Playing at his home venue, Ashwin was expected to deliver some exceptional performance but the pitch turned different for the game with lots of cracks.

Indian bowlers restricted Australian batters to score just 199 runs for 10-wicket loss at the end of 49.3 overs. With huge expectations around the Indian batters, Rohit and Ishan opened the inning in the absence of Gill.

Australian bowlers too took advantage of the pitch and dismissed the top 3 Indian batters when India scored just 2 runs. Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer were dismissed for a duck.

Following the top-order failure, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul made a 164-run partnership and moved India towards the safer zone. With a patience knock from Indian batters, the hosts won the game by 6 wickets with nearly 8 overs left.

Following the victory, Ashwin opened up about his feelings right after his name was included in the World Cup squad.

“It was more like a May day call, I was chilling at home, played a couple of club games but Rohit and Rahul [Dravid] had told me that if there is a situation we will come back to you, I just told them jokingly that hope you never come back to me [smiles]”

Following the first victory, India managed to move to the 5th spot in the ODI World Cup 2023 points table. India will play their next game of the tournament against Afghanistan on October 11 at Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi.

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