India are playing the final game of the three-match ODI series against Australia at Rajkot. The Men in Blue have already clinched the series from the Aussies by winning the first two games at Mohali and Indore, respectively.

The third ODI saw the return of India’s regular captain, Rohit Sharma, alongside Virat Kohli and spin wizard Kuldeep Yadav. These three stalwarts had been rested for the initial two matches, following their outstanding contributions to India’s triumphant Asia Cup 2023 campaign.

While the comeback of these seasoned players was eagerly awaited, it was notable that some other prominent names will be missing from the playing XI in this encounter. Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur are among the notable absentees.

Also READ: IND vs AUS 2023 – Here’s why Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur are not playing today’s game

Another player whose absence garnered significant attention was the talented off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. The Chennai-born cricketer made his ODI comeback after a considerable hiatus and left a lasting impression with his exceptional bowling performances. He was instrumental in India’s success, claiming an impressive tally of four wickets in the previous two games of the series.

In the meantime, Twitterati came up with mixed thoughts on the Indian team’s decision to rest Ashwin for the third ODI.

Here are some reactions:

Ravichandran Ashwin’s return to ODIs

It’s worth highlighting that Ashwin’s return to ODI cricket was marked by the fact that his last appearance in this format was back in January 2022, when India faced South Africa. His presence in the series against Australia carried weight, as it was seen as a strong indicator of the 37-year-old’s bid to secure a spot in the 15-man squad for the upcoming ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023.

The selection dynamics became even more intriguing due to the uncertainty surrounding the inclusion of spin all-rounder Axar Patel in the World Cup squad. Axar’s availability is doubtful as he’s grappling with an injury concern.

Also READ: Asian Games 2023 – Nepal’s Kushal Malla breaks David Miller and Rohit Sharma’s record of fastest century in T20 internationals

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