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IND vs AUS 2023: Why Have India Rested Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli for the First Two ODIs?

Last Updated: September 18, 2023, 22:44 IST

Rohit Sharma (left) and Virat Kohli will be back for the third ODI. (AP Photo)

Rohit Sharma (left) and Virat Kohli will be back for the third ODI. (AP Photo)

India will take on Australia in a three-match ODI series at home right before the world cup next month.

Ajit Agarkar, the BCCI chairman of selection committee, on Monday announced two different squads for the India vs Australia ODI series starting later this week. While the world-cup bound squad will reassemble for the third ODI, several first-choice stars have been rested from the first two games.

Captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav are among those who will not be part of the first two matches but will be back for the series finale.

Also Read: Ashwin Recalled; Rohit and Kohli Rested for First Two ODIs

Agarkar explained the rationale behind the decision to name two squads and rest seniors. The former India fast bowler said they want to have a look at others and wanted to rest the players who have been around for a long time.

“Rohit and Virat have been around forever,” Agarkar said. “Hardik is an important player for us, we want to manage him. Kuldeep is in great form. It gives us a chance to look at other guys.”

Agarkar said the players needed a mental break ahead of a big tournament which will keep them fresh.

“Luckily we got a fair amount of cricket at the Asia Cup. If not, we would’ve looked at it some other way. At some stage, more than physical, sometimes guys need a mental break, which isn’t a bad thing leading into a tournament like the World Cup. But come the third game, everybody will be available. Gives us a chance to play other guys but it’s still a strong squad,” he said.

Also Read: India’s ODI World Cup Readiness – Aspirations Soar as They Hit Peak Form

Ravichandra Ashwin, who last played an ODI in January 2022, is back in the scheme of things and alongside Washington Sundar, is in the radar for a possible replacement during the world cup should there be a need.

“Axar (Patel) unfortunately picked up an injury but we are hopeful that he will be fit. Washington Sundar was already part of the squad for the final. And Ashwin brings experience. It gives us option just in case if we need a couple of guys. Everyone else has been part of the guys. Those are the two guys we need to look at if need arises,” Ashwin said.

“Ruturaj Gaikwad of course because Rohit is taking a break. Everyone else is pretty much like it was in Sri Lanka,” he added.

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