Ashwin Training Suggests Play in India’s CWC23 vs AUS

A Glimpse into Ashwin Intensive Training

Veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been spotted engaging in a rigorous training session, sparking speculations about his participation in India’s inaugural match in the World Cup against Australia. His potential inclusion as a third spinner, alongside Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav, is being contemplated due to the anticipated gripping pitch conditions at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai and his historical mastery against Australian stalwarts like David Warner and Steve Smith.

Historical Dominance Over Australian Batsmen

Ashwin has been a formidable opponent for Warner, having dismissed him 11 times in Test matches, and has also posed significant challenges for Smith, especially in Test cricket. His ability to spin the ball away from left-handed batsmen has been a particular thorn for Warner. In a unique move, Warner even opted to bat right-handed in a recent ODI to counter Ashwin’s strategies.

A Comprehensive Look at the Training Session

Ashwin, who replaced the injured Axar Patel in India’s World Cup squad, participated in an extended net session, bowling to players like Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, and Shardul Thakur, among others. Before focusing on his bowling, Ashwin dedicated a considerable amount of time to refining his batting skills. He demonstrated his ability to play aerial shots during the batting session, showcasing a well-rounded skill set. This skill could prove valuable if he comes out to bat at No. 8.

Team India’s Preparations and Strategy

This marked the second practice session for India ahead of their crucial match against Australia. Captain Virat Kohli appeared to be in fine form during his nearly 45-minute stint in the nets, showcasing his signature drives against both pacers and throwdown specialists. Meanwhile, other batters like Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, and Hardik Pandya engaged in productive practice sessions. KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ishan Kishan also honed their skills effectively on the field.

Anticipating the Challenges from Australia

While there was no specific preparation against the left-arm pace of Mitchell Starc, who showcased his skill by taking a hat-trick against the Netherlands in a warm-up match, a separate concern arises. The playing conditions in Chennai could significantly differ, presenting a distinct challenge. The conditions in Thiruvananthapuram, where Starc excelled, might not be replicated in the upcoming matches. Starc has historically troubled Indian batters, claiming 12 wickets in eight ODIs against India in India.

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