Cricket
Rohit-Virat skip optional practice, Ashwin gets extended session ahead of warm-up

Rohit-Virat skip optional practice, Ashwin gets extended session ahead of warm-up

Shubman Gill, Shardul Thakur and Ishan Kishan turned up for practice while Ravichandran Ashwin had an extended batting session in Guwahati ahead of India vs England World Cup Warm-up clash.

As has been the ritual, most of the Indian stars did not take part in the optional practice session in Guwahati on Friday ahead of the IND vs ENG World Cup Warm-up clash. Instead, It was Ravichandran Ashwin who had an uninterrupted 20 minutes of batting practice. Shubman Gill, Shardul Thakur and Ishan Kishan also turned up for the practice. But Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya all skipped the optional session. India vs England will be India’s first warm-up match on Saturday at the Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati.

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Team India only arrived in Guwahati on Thursday after completing their series against Australia. While Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli played the last ODI, the likes of Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan and Shardul Thakur apart from Ravichandran Ashwin were rested.

All four who were rested from the 3rd ODI turned up for the practice session with Ashwin making the most of it at the Aminpara Stadium. The veteran who came in as a last-minute replacement for injured Axar Patel.

IND vs ENG: All eyes on Ashwin

With batting being his weak-link in white ball cricket, he spent over 45 minutes at the nets. First he took on the net bowlers for well over 45 minutes at the nets. Then, he had another session against throw-down specialists.

With just 5 ODIs in the last six years, Ashwin hasn’t had a long run in the format. But considering the value he adds to India’s bowling department, the off-spinner is an asset. However, Team India has always discussed the possibility of batting depth. Axar Patel slotted right in with his superior batting skills in white ball cricket.

While Ravichandran Ashwin is a great batter in Test cricket, he hasn’t quite shown his skills in white-ball. Thus, he decided to polish his skills. In the two warm-up games, Ashwin will surely get more time in the middle to bat against England as well as Netherlands before facing Australia in the Chennai showdown on October 8.

Rohit Sharma & Virat Kohli skip optional practice in Guwahati, Ashwin vs Shardul ahead of IND vs ENG (India vs England) World Cup warm-up

Ashwin vs Shardul

  • At No 8, it will come down to Ashwin or Shardul.
  • While Ashwin leads the race as a spinner with Chennai’s Chepauk Stadium historically supportive of spin, the veteran has competition from Shardul Thakur at his home ground.
  • Ashwin will return to his home ground to play an ODI for the first time in 11 years.
  • The last time he played an ODI in Chennai was back in 2012 against Pakistan.
  • For Shardul Thakur, he gets the advantage only if the pitch has any assistance for seamers, which is very unlikely.
  • Despite a lot of talk around Shardul’s batting, he has been rather poor in white-ball batting.
  • The two warm-up games including IND vs ENG could decide who gets the No 8 slot in Chennai.

India Squad for Cricket World Cup 2023

Batters: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav

WKs: Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul (VC)

Seam all-rounders: Shardul Thakur

Spin all-rounders: Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin

Seamers: Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna

Spinner: Kuldeep Yadav

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