Harbhajan Singh Not Happy With R Ashwin Inclusion In The Squad

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Team India is all set to take on Australia for a 3-match ODI series just before the ICC ODI World Cup 2023. And the BCCI has announced the squad for the series. Some of the questions were raised by the former Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh regarding the selection of the players in the squad. He expressed his disagreement with the selection of Washington Sundar and Ravichandran Ashwin on his own YouTube channel.

BCCI announced the squad for the Australia series

The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) has announced the squad for the 3-match ODI series against Australia. They have given a rest to some of the regular members of the squad for the first two games. Those players are captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, and Kuldeep Yadav.

All the above-mentioned players will be back for the 3rd ODI.

Surprise inclusions in the squad

Some of the surprise inclusion has been done in the squad. Team India has brought back the two off-spinners in W Sundar and Ravichandran Ashwin in the team. The former was also called up as a backup for Axar Patel for the Asia Cup 2023 final.

As far as Ravichandran Ashwin is concerned, he is back in the ODI team after more than one and a half years. He played his last ODI in January 2022 against South Africa at Boland Park.

Harbhajan Singh not happy with Ashwin and Sundar’s inclusion

Harbhajan Singh has expressed his disagreement with the inclusion of the two off-spinners in the squad. He said there is no point in having the two off-spinners in the team, considering Jadeja and Kuldeep both will play in the playing XI.

“First Washington Sundar, who wasn’t in the original Asia Cup squad, was called there. After that, a second player has been added for this series and that is R Ashwin. So somewhere or the other Team India is searching for off-spinners.” – Harbhajan Singh said on his YouTube channel.

Is Team India making a mistake by picking Ravichandran Ashwin and W Sundar? Harbhajan thinks so.

“They have probably realized their mistake that they haven’t picked an off-spinner in the team and that our bowlers can get into trouble if a lot of left-handers come in front of them. Why unnecessarily go through all this? It is beyond my understanding or they are going to make another mistake to rectify their earlier mistake.”-  he added.

“You will never pick three spinners in the team. You will choose two at the most. Ravindra Jadeja is definitely going to play, no matter how many left-handers are there in front of you, and the other spinner will be Kuldeep Yadav. No one can take his place as of now.” – he concluded.

Why does Team India want an off-spinner?

Probably, Team India is trying to bring variety to their spin attack. All the spinners in the WC squad are left-arm spinners. And two of them are of equal quality (Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel).

With off-spinner coming into the team, the variety in the bowling attack can be achieved. And some teams also have a few left-handed batters in the team. So an off-spinner against them is also a big plus point.

If Axar Patel won’t get fit in time for the CWC 2023, we might see one of the off-spinner in the team.

India vs Australia 2023

India is coming into the series with an Asia Cup title win. While Australia is coming in with a 2-3 series loss against the Proteas, even after being 2-0 up in the series. They lost the last three games quite convincingly.

Now, some of Australia’s main players like M Starc, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, and Glenn Maxwell will feature in the India series as well. The series will kick off on September 22 at Mohali.

Followed by the first ODI, the other two games will happen on September 24 and 27 at Indore and Rajkot respectively.

India’s squad for the first two ODIs:-

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, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna.

India’s squad for the 3rd ODI:-

Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, SK Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Siraj, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav

Australia’s squad for the ODI series against India

Pat Cummins (c), Sean Abbott, Alex Carey, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tanveer Sangha, Matt Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa


Let’s see how Team India does in this series. This will be the last preparation opportunity for both teams before they play the warm-up games in the WC 2023.

Both teams will play two warm-up games before they start their WC campaign. India will start its WC campaign against Australia on October 07 at Chennai.

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