Ashwin replaces Axar. Axar Patel likely needs three more weeks to recover from a quadriceps strain.

Ashwin replaces Axar in India’s World Cup squad:

Ashwin replaces Axar: Offspinner R Ashwin has replaced left-arm spinner Axar Patel in India’s final 15 for the 2023 World Cup. ESPNcricinfo has learned that Axar, who left the Asia Cup with a quadriceps strain, needs at least three more weeks to recover fully.

September 28 is the deadline for teams to make changes – no questions asked – to their World Cup squads, and ICC’s regulations. From Friday, any further changes will need the consent of the World Cup’s technical committee.

This means Ashwin joins Virat Kohli as one of only two players in this squad who also featured in India’s 2011 World Cup winning run. At the time, India’s chief selector Ajit Agarkar pointed out that while Ashwin was one of the contenders. The selectors and the team management had opted for Axar, whom they felt provided batting depth.

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Both Washington and Ashwin were a three-match ODI series against Australia that followed, which India won 2-1. That series was the first time Ashwin, 37, had played for India in ODIs in 18 months.

He 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 Washington replaced him.

Rahul Dravid, India’s head coach, had said at a media briefing on Wednesday, after the third ODI, that “there were no changes” to the World Cup squad. Dravid said that Agarkar had been in touch with the NCA on Axar’s rehab. Following the latest update on Axar, Ashwin has been slotted in. Washington will fly to China on Friday to join India’s squad for the Asian Games.

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Ashwin is the only specialist offspinner in India’s World Cup squad and brings with him the experience of 115 ODIs. He had made his ODI debut a year before the 2011 World Cup and was part of India’s successful campaign with four wickets in two games.

Ashwin, The presence of mind

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India captain Rohit Sharma had said on the eve of the third ODI against Australia that all this experience worked in Ashwin’s favor.

India’s updated World Cup squad

Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav. Hardik Pandya (vice-capt), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, R Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj

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