The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given time till September 28 for the teams to finalise their squads for the World Cup and it seems all teams have taken the liberty as they are using every single day and opportunity to try a few options, whom they think can add to the strength of the side for the marquee event.
Injuries too haven’t helped the teams and the recent one to Axar Patel in Team India’s case has put a spanner in the works for the Men in Blue. But thankfully for the Indian team, there is a three-match ODI series against Australia to try a couple of options and the selection committee has named both off-spinners Washington Sundar and veteran R Ashwin, who has earned a recall after 20 months, in the squad.
Team India didn’t have a single off-spinner in the World Cup plans but they have been left with no option to try with apart from Sundar and Ashwin, the former was even in the playing XI for the Asia Cup final. However, former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was puzzled with the selectors’ decision as he said that the team management has made another mistake by naming both of them to rectify the earlier one of not naming either, which shows the lack of clarity, according to him.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Harbhajan said, “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 are searching for off-spinners. 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.”
Harbhajan maintained that in a playing XI, India are going to play only two spinners, however, didn’t rule out surprise inclusion of one of Sundar or Ashwin if they give an extraordinary performance in the ODI series.
Chief selector Ajit Agarkar, on the other hand, hoped that Axar gets fit in time as even though he is included in the side for the third ODI, his selection will be subject to fitness.