With the first ODI match between India and Australia scheduled to begin on September 22 at Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, the head coach reveals the reason for resting Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
Reason for resting Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma
India is scheduled to play a three-match ODI series against Australia between September 22-27. After completing the Asia Cup Campaign successfully, India is at an interesting phase of preparing for the upcoming World Cup 2023.
On this occasion, senior players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are rested during the first two matches of the ODI series. With those rested, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Tilak Varma are placed in the squad.
When asked about their absence from the squad, the head coach said the management is giving the opportunity for the young players to play a tough match before the World Cup to gain experience.
He said, “It is one of those series, where you have seen that some of our boys are not playing the first two games. We will rotate our pacers a bit. It will be nice for some other guys that they are given this opportunity to play three tough games before the World Cup,” in a pre-match press conference.
“I think with people like Rohit and Virat, from our perspective, it is important that they reach the first game of the World Cup with the physical and mental headspace they want to be in. With the amount of cricket they have played, they know how to prepare themselves for these big games. A lot of these decisions are discussed with them. We discussed with them how they would like to prepare leading up to big events. Based on these discussions, we come up with these mutual decisions,” he added.
The team also features the return of the spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to the ODI format after two years. The head coach Rahul Dravid explained that the spinner was in the plan.
“Having someone of Ashwin’s experience is always good for us. He gives you experience, and the ability to contribute with the bat at number eight. He is someone we taught about in case of an injury or an opportunity opened up. He was always in our plans. He has not played much ODI cricket for a while, but someone of his experience can deal with that,” he concluded.
With the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar, India will be looking to include an off-spinner in the final World Cup Squad. Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav will be returning to the squad for the third ODI match. If Axar Patel recovers, he will be also featuring in the third ODI match.
India Squad of first Two ODIs against Australia
KL Rahul (C & WK), Ravindra Jadeja (Vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohmmed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna