Arjun Bhalla ∙ Updated: Sep 18 2023, 9:09 PM | 3 Min Read

Ashwin Gets Wildcard Entry Just Before WC; KL Rahul To Captain In First Two ODIs Vs AUS

image-lmoz10lbRavi Ashwin alongside Captain Rohit Sharma (

In a significant turn of events, the national selectors have brought the Test veteran Ravichandran Ashwin to the One-Day mix as a wildcard - a fortnight before the start of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 - for the three-match ODI series against a visiting Australian unit.

Interestingly, on Monday, the selection panel announced two squads for three ODIs, where KL Rahul will lead India in the initial two matches before Rohit Sharma returns to captain the Men in Blue.

The Ajit Agarkar-led panel also gave small breathing space to the core players such as Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav - who all performed extraordinarily during the Asia Cup 2023 triumph - for the first two matches of the series. The main contingent will return to play the final ODI against Australia at Rajkot.

Ashwin, Sundar return to ODI fold; Axar still recovering

Ashwin, who is majorly looked at as a backup for an injured Axar Patel, has returned to the ODI groove after a long leap of 21 months. However, the off-spinning all-rounder - a missing link in the current Indian World Cup squad - was integral to the Men in Blue in the last two global white-ball showpiece events - the T20 World Cup 2021 and T20 World Cup 2022. 

Additionally, Washington Sundar has also been added to the Indian squad. Meanwhile, Axar Patel, who sustained an injury during India's fixture against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup, is still recovering, and he is expected to recover fully just before the World Cup. 

KL Rahul, who made a sensational comeback with a century against Pakistan, will lead the 15-member troop against the five-time champions. Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj are the other members of the Asia Cup squad named to take on the Aussies.

Indian squad for the first two ODIs

KL Rahul (C/wk), Ravindra Jadeja (VC), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Verma, Ishan Kishan (wk), Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, Ravi Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Prasidh Krishna.

Indian squad for the last ODI

Rohit Sharma (C), Hardik Pandya (VC), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Washington Sundar, Ravi Ashwin, Axar Patel (subject to fitness).

The ODI series between India and Australia will begin on Friday (September 22) at Mohali, before the caravan moves to Indore (Sept 24) and Rajkot (Sept 27).