In a development that impacts India’s ODI campaign against Australia and raises questions about the upcoming World Cup squad, all-rounder Axar Patel has been officially ruled out of the third and final ODI of the series, set to be held in Rajkot on September 27. Patel, who sustained a left quadriceps strain during the Asia Cup, has not sufficiently recovered to participate in the crucial match.
A report from Cricbuzz stated that Patel is presently undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.
His absence from the third ODI opens the door for the experienced off-spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin, who recently made a remarkable comeback to the ODI format after a hiatus of one and a half years.
Ashwin’s impressive performance in the series has garnered attention, having secured four wickets from two matches at an economical rate of 5.18, including a vital three-wicket haul that troubled the Australian batting lineup in the Indore fixture.
However, the report also noted that there are indications that Axar Patel may be ready to return for the World Cup warm-up matches. This development has left selectors, including Ajit Agarkar and his team, facing a challenging decision. While Ashwin’s chances for inclusion in the World Cup squad appear promising, the selectors have not yet announced a replacement for Axar Patel for the impending Rajkot clash.