Harbhajan Singh has made a prediction regarding Team India’s 15-member squad for the 2023 World Cup, suggesting that Ravichandran Ashwin, the off-spinner, might step in to replace Axar Patel, the left-arm spinner. Harbhajan commended Ashwin’s impressive performance during his comeback series against Australia, emphasizing that Ashwin’s inclusion would diversify the bowling attack.
Interestingly, India initially chose not to include any off-spinners in their squad for the 2023 World Cup. Instead, they opted for two left-arm spinners, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel, along with the left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav. However, Axar Patel suffered a left quadriceps strain during the Asia Cup, causing him to miss the tournament’s final and the subsequent ODI series against Australia.
During a discussion about Ashwin’s ongoing series performance against Australia, Harbhajan expressed his confidence in the seasoned off-spinner’s potential to replace Axar in the World Cup’s 15-member squad.
He stated, “Ravichandran Ashwin has performed exceptionally well, and I believe he will secure a spot in the World Cup squad. Teams have the flexibility to make changes until September 28, and I anticipate that Axar Patel might make way for him, introducing a valuable variation to the squad. Initially, I thought they might choose Washington Sundar due to his prior call-up to Sri Lanka ahead of Ashwin, but they have opted for Ashwin because of his extensive experience. The rest of the team appears solid, and I hope their outstanding performances persist.”
As per the regulations for the 2023 World Cup, teams are allowed to modify their squads until September 28, with any subsequent changes requiring approval from the International Cricket Council (ICC).