After Axar was ruled out of the first two ODIs of the home series against Australia [he missed the third ODI as well], Ashwin was handed a recall to the one-day team for the first time since January 2022. He played two matches before being dropped. Before that, he had played one-day cricket back in 2017.
Speaking to Star Sports ahead of India’s World Cup 2023 warm-up match against England, the 37-year-old conceded that the upcoming tournament is likely to be his last World Cup for India. "Being in a good space, enjoying this tournament will keep me in good stead. This could be my last World Cup for India, so enjoying the tournament is of utmost importance," the off-spinner commented about his comeback to the one-day side and making it to the World Cup,
"I would have said that you were joking. Life is full of surprises. Honestly, did not think I would be here. Circumstances have made sure I am here today, the team management have shown trust," he added, while opening up on how fate transpired to confirm his inclusion in India’s World Cup squad.
The seasoned cricketer said that apart from cricketing skills, dealing with pressure will also be a key factor for success in the World Cup. "All you can do is turn the ball both ways, and I think I can do it. Dealing with pressure is paramount in these tournaments, and it will dictate how the tournament goes," Ashwin concluded.
Ashwin has so far played 10 World Cup matches for India, the last of which was back in 2015. He has picked up 17 wickets in the tournament at an average of 24.88 and an impressive economy of 4.36, with a best of 4/25.
Interestingly, Ashwin and former captain Virat Kohli are the only members in the current squad who were part of India’s 2011 World Cup winning campaign at home under MS Dhoni.
India’s World Cup 2023 squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishan Kishan, Surya Kumar Yadav.
--By A Cricket Correspondent