Fit-again Rahul in India's Cricket World Cup squad, Ashwin misses out

AFP

India have recalled a fit-again KL Rahul for their home World Cup later this year but off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is not in the 15-man squad, which did not contain any real surprises.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Rahul has not played competitively since May after suffering a thigh injury but is due to join the team in Sri Lanka for the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup.

Ishan Kishan, who has smashed a fifty in his last four one-day internationals, leads the race for the wicketkeeper's spot partly because of the left-handed variety he brings.

"It's a good headache to have, isn't it?" chief selector Ajit Agarkar told reporters in Pallekele, Sri Lanka.

"Ishan played a lovely innings (in the Asia Cup), can open the innings ... KL's one-day record is fantastic.

"So when he comes, there will be conversations but you at least have two options now."

Kuldeep Yadav is the lone frontline wrist-spinner in the Rohit Sharma-led squad, which contains spin all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel.

Ashwin, who remains India's preferred spinner in test cricket, was not accommodated though.

"Both give us depth in batting," Agarkar said of Jadeja and Patel. "In 50 overs cricket, perhaps you would ideally want an off-spinner but this gives us the best balance."

Rohit was happy with the depth in his squad but demanded more contribution from India's tailenders.

"We found this lacking in our team for the last few years, so we wanted to make sure that we get that batting depth somehow."

"It's not just to come out and bowl out the opposition but it's also to contribute with the bat, and it can make a huge difference."

Twice champions India, who lost in the semi-finals in 2019, begin their World Cup campaign with an October 8 contest against Australia in Chennai.

Squad

Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav

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