India’s star all-rounder Axar Patel has been ruled out of the third ODI against Australia in Rajkot due to not being fully fit. Axar is suffering from a left quadriceps strain and is under rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. He last appeared in an international match during India’s loss against Bangladesh in the Super Fours stage of the Asia Cup 2023.

The unfortunate injury not only prompted Axar from the ODI against Australia in Rajkot but has also raised concerns for Indian management ahead of the upcoming ODI World Cup 2023

On the other hand, two other notable players will also not be part of the squad for this final game of the Australia tour of India 2023. However, their absence is due to rest rather than injury concerns.

Axar’s Patel’s replacements and squad dynamics

It is worth mentioning that Axar wasn’t part of the opening two games against Australia as well, and India had to make some adjustments to its lineup by adding Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar to fill in his void.

Also READ: Shubman Gill surpasses Hashim Amla’s record of most ODI runs after 35 innings

While Axar’s exclusion from the third ODI is a setback, he’s still not out of contention for the ODI World Cup 2023. It is to be noted that all participating nations are allowed to make changes to their World Cup squads until September 28.

Rest for Shubman Gill and Shardul Thakur

Shubman Gill and Shardul Thakur are the other two players who will be absent from the squad for the third ODI. Nevertheless, it isn’t due to injury issues but to give them much-needed rest ahead of the ODI World Cup 2023 and manage their workloads.

Key players returning

Apart from the absence of Axar, Shubman and Shardul, India will see the return of several key players for the final game against Australia. The likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, and Kuldeep Yadav, who missed the first two matches, will be back in action.

Also READ: 5 Pakistan players who featured in the 2019 ODI World Cup but won’t play in the 2023 CWC

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