Veteran batter KL Rahul will captain India in the first two One-Day International (ODI) matches against Australia, which begins on September 22. Meanwhile, senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin returns to the ODI squad after 20 months and will feature in all three matches. Senior players Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have been rested for the first two games but will return for the third and final match. Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav have also been rested for the opening two games.
Despite being picked for the third and final ODI, Axar Patel’s fitness remains a mystery. Ajit Agarkar, BCCI chief selector, “hoped” that the all-rounder would be fit until then. Axar was injured during the Super 4 match against Bangladesh, a dead rubber. Washington Sundar was then called up as a last-minute replacement for the all-rounder for the Asia Cup. And the all-rounder will play in the ODI series.
Young batter Ruturaj Gaikwad has also been picked for the first two ODIs and will most likely open alongside Shubman Gill. Ishan Kishan, who has been preferred in the middle order, should ideally bat at number 4 or 5.
Recently, India won its 8th Asia Cup title and the Men in Blue will now look to carry forward the winning momentum against the mighty Australians in the three-match series. India will play two warm-up matches after the ODI series before heading to the 2023 World Cup. India and Australia are both considered favorites to win the World Cup, which begins next month.