India is scheduled to play a three-match ODI series against Australia between September 22-27, the players Ravichandran Ashwin and Shreyas Iyer had made a comeback to the side.
Ashwin-Iyer comeback for Australia ODIs
India will be playing their first ODI match against Australia on September 22, at Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.
With the squad announced, Ashwin and Iyer are placed in the playing 11 squad. Shreyas Iyer who played two Asia Cup games, has been sidelined from the squad and Ashwin is set to play his first ODI match since January 2022.
It has been a difficult situation for the Indian team to examine Iyer’s fitness for the World Cup as he was sidelined in the Super Fours of the continental event. On this occasion, the Indian Skipper stated that Iyer is almost ready and needs some match experience.
On the other hand, the head coach Rahul Dravid revealed the reason for resting Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the first two matches. He also stated that the opportunity have been given to the players before the World Cup who need game time at the pre-match press conference.
“It (the three-match series) gives us an opportunity for some players who need game time.” He said suggesting Iyer and Ashwin in the playing 11 would give the necessary game time.
“Having someone of Ashwin’s experience and for him to come back is good for us. Ashwin provides you that experience, and also that ability to contribute with the bat at No 8. And (he is) someone we always thought of in case of injuries or opening up of opportunities. I know he has not played a lot of one-day cricket lately but someone of his experience can really do very well,” Dravid said.
“He is playing 50-over cricket after a long time. I wouldn’t say it’s a trial for him, we know his quality, but it’s an opportunity to see him play in this format and play many games in this format. We just want to give him that opportunity to be able to play two or three games if required before the World Cup.”
“I don’t think he needs to worry about the 27th deadline. We’ve picked our team for the World Cup and Surya is in it. We made that decision to do that and we completely backed him. We back him because he has got a certain quality and an ability that we have seen.
“Yes, we’ve seen it at the moment in T20 cricket but we know the kind of impact a player like him can make batting at 6. He can change the course of a game. So we have completely backed him, we are pretty clear about that, there’s been total clarity on the fact that we are completely behind him, and we know that hopefully, he’ll be able to turn it around. He is someone who will get these three games – at least the first couple – to be able to develop and keep growing on his journey as a one-day cricketer. But in terms of selection, we’ve made our decision.”
“So a lot of these decisions are taken in discussion with them. We discussed with them how best they would like to prepare in the lead-up to big events like the World Cup. We’ve come up with some mutual decisions on deciding that probably these two games were good games for them to take off, just to refresh mentally more than anything else. And then come back to Rajkot and then it’s going to be a tough couple of months ahead for us,” the coach said.