Looking to earn a spot in the World Cup squad, R Ashwin did some batting practice after India’s victory over Australia in the first ODI.
Unarguably one of the smartest cricketers around, Ravichandran Ashwin is a true cricketing genius. The all-rounder marked his return to India’s ODI team against Australia on Friday and produced an important spell of 10 overs in which he conceded 47 runs and claimed a wicket. But, it was Ashwin’s post-match act after the conclusion of the contest in Mohali that won over fans. The veteran all-rounder, having not gotten the opportunity to bat in the first ODI against the Aussies, went on to do some batting practice in the nets after the match.
The importance of all-rounders in the Indian team is clear. The management and selectors have hinted in recent times how important it is for them to have a long batting line-up. Ashwin, being a handy batter who has hit a few centuries in the Test format, wants to prove his worth to the team, not just with the bat but the ball too.
Earlier, India head coach Rahul Dravid explained the inclusion of Ashwin in the ODI team. Dravid said, “Someone like Ravichandran Ashwin provides experience and also contributes with the bat at No. 8. This series is no trial for Ashwin, this is just an opportunity for him in this format,” Dravid had told reporters in Mohali ahead of the series opener in Mohali.
As for the first ODI, India captain KL Rahul was quite happy with the effort his team put, having chased down the target of 277 runs in 48.4 overs with 5 wickets in hand.
“We only played five bowlers, so they had to bowl 10 overs. After Shubman got out, it was a bit tricky with the set batter out. But managed to build a good partnership with Surya, need to put myself in such challenging situations.
“We (he and Surya) kept talking about hitting good cricket shots, rotating the strike and this is something all our batters are working on. We didn’t want to get bogged down, we were always on par so we wanted to take it deep,” Rahul said.
With the win, India went 1-0 up in the 3-match series.
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