All-rounder Axar Patel has been officially ruled out of the forthcoming third and final ODI in the IND vs. AUS series, scheduled for September 27 in Rajkot. Patel sustained a left quadriceps strain during the Asia Cup and has not sufficiently recovered, rendering him unfit for the match. His absence in the third ODI creates an opportunity for veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who made a remarkable return to the ODI format after an absence of eighteen months.
Ashwin’s stellar performance in the series has garnered attention, as he secured four wickets in two matches with an impressive economy rate of 5.18. His three-wicket haul in the Indore match played a pivotal role in disrupting the Australian batting lineup.
However, there are speculations that Axar Patel may be gearing up for a comeback in the World Cup warm-up matches. This situation presents a challenging decision for selectors, including Ajit Agarkar and his team. While Ravichandran Ashwin’s chances of securing a spot in the World Cup squad appear promising, the selectors have yet to announce a replacement for Axar Patel in the upcoming Rajkot fixture.
The Indian management may find Ashwin’s performance on a challenging pitch against an Australian batting lineup lacking full strength quite refreshing. This is particularly significant due to the initial lack of variety in India’s selected spin trio, which consisted of three left-arm spinners in Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel.
With India already holding an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, the return of key players such as captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Hardik Pandya for the third ODI in Rajkot is expected to bolster the team’s prospects.
This match marks the final international encounter for both India and Australia before they face each other once more in their respective opening matches of the Men’s ODI World Cup, scheduled for October 8 in Chennai. The absence of Axar Patel underscores the significance of player fitness and selection decisions in the lead-up to the prestigious tournament.
India’s Squad for 3rd ODI against Australia
– Rohit Sharma (c)
– Hardik Pandya (vc)
– Virat Kohli
– Shreyas Iyer
– Suryakumar Yadav
– KL Rahul (wk)
– Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper)
– Ravindra Jadeja
– Washington Sundar
– Kuldeep Yadav
– Ravichandran Ashwin
– Jasprit Bumrah
– Mohd. Shami
– Mohd. Siraj