However, Gautam Gambhir, the former Indian opener, believes that despite their impressive pre-World Cup performance, there is one aspect of Team India’s composition that requires some attention before the mega event.While all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has solidified his position as a crucial member of the Indian team. Gambhir acknowledged his exceptional bowling and fielding skills but emphasised on the need for him to contribute more significantly with the bat.
“We know he (Jadeja) can bowl 10 overs on any given day on any surface. He is an amazing fielder but he will have to contribute better as a batter at No. 7 because you cannot go in with just six batters,” Gambhir said on Star Sports
“If Ishan Kishan plays at No. 5, there are question marks there as well. So Ravindra Jadeja will have to win matches with batting because you might have a situation where you need 80 or 90 runs in 10 overs and the No. 6 and No. 7 batters might be playing together,” added Gambhir.
Earlier on Monday, veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin made a surprise comeback as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the squad for the three-match ODI series against Australia starting at home on September 22.
The series will serve as the final preparation for both teams before going into the ODI World Cup, starting October 5 in India.
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have been rested for the first two matches of the series. KL Rahul will lead the team in the absence of Rohit in the first two games. However, both Rohit and Virat will return for the final one-dayer.
Shreyas Iyer, who missed the latter half of the Asia Cup due to back spasm has also been included in the team.
All-rounder Axar Patel, who suffered a quad injury during India’s Asia Cup Super Four fixture against Bangladesh will miss the first two games. His inclusion for the final game will be subject to fitness.
Man-of-the-series in the recently concluded Asia Cup, left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav has also been rested for the first two matches and will return in the squad for the final game.
The biggest outcome however from the squad announcement was the return of Ashwin, who last played an ODI for India in January 2022.
The inclusion of Ashwin now means that the 37-year-old is still very much in the running to be part of India’s World Cup campaign despite being left out of the provisional squad.