Guwahati, Sep 30 (IANS) India’s ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin admitted that he did not think of being in the side’s 15-member squad for the upcoming Men’s ODI World Cup, adding that life can be full of surprises.
On September 28, the last day of finalising World Cup squads, Ashwin replaced injured left-arm spinner Axar Patel in India’s final 15-member for the mega event on home soil. Ashwin, who made a comeback to the format in the recent 2-1 ODI series win against Australia, joins Virat Kohli as one of only two players in the squad who also featured in the 2011 World Cup winning campaign.
“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,” said Ashwin in a chat with broadcasters before the warm-up match against England was delayed due to rain in Guwahati.
Ashwin is now the only specialist off-spinner in India’s 2023 World Cup squad, and having played 115 ODIs, and picking 155 wickets at an economy rate of 4.94 since his debut in the format in 2010. He added that his attention is on enjoying the tournament to the fullest.
“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. 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.”
Hosts India, the 1983 and 2011 champions, will open its campaign against five-time champions Australia on October 8 at the MA Chidambaram in Chennai. It’s the first time India is solely hosting the Men’s ODI World Cup.