Will Ashwin be summoned for Oz series? Selectors to pick squad Sunday

Last Updated: Sat, Sep 09, 2017 21:55 hrs
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The national selection committee, headed by MSK Prasad, is set to pick the Indian squad for the upcoming limited overs series against Australia, starting September 17.

While not many surprises are expected, the selectors will however take a call on whether to summon Ravichandran Ashwin midway through his county stint as they pick the squad for the first three ODIs against Australia on Sunday.

Ashwin is currently in England playing county cricket for Worcestershire. India's premier spinner has a four-match contract, of which only two matches are over so far.

Ashwin's next assignment is a home game against Leicestershire from September 12-15 followed by his last game against Durham from September 25-28.

If Ashwin is allowed to play these two games, he won't be available for the ODI games against Australia. With both Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal performing admirably, the selectors may just allow Ashwin to complete his county engagement.

"Ashwin has a contract of four games for Worcestershire. If he is called back after two games only, then the purpose of sending him to get a proper county exposure is lost. It's the team management and the selectors who decided that he should be playing county cricket," a BCCI official privy to selection matter told PTI on Saturday.

Virat Kohli's boys will play 23 international matches (11 ODIs, 9 T20 Internationals, 3 Tests) over the next three months. With calls over player burnout issues coming to the fore, the selectors along with team management may check the workload of the bowling unit -- pacers as well as the spinners.

It will be interesting if either Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Jasprit Bumrah is given some rest, bringing back Umesh Yadav or Mohammed Shami. The batting line-up looks set as of now with all the top players -- skipper Virat Kohli, his deputy Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni being automatic picks. Hardik Pandya is expected to be the seamer all-rounder.

With chief selector Prasad currently in Lucknow for the Duleep Trophy, the selection meeting is expected to be held over a conference call with Sarandeep Singh and Devang Gandhi who are in their respective cities -- Delhi and Kolkata.

According to the schedule released by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday, the Australians will play a warm-up match against a Board President XI team in Chennai on September 12 followed by the first ODI at the same venue on September 17.

Kolkata will host the second ODI on September 21 followed by Indore (September 24), Bengaluru (September 28) and Nagpur (October 1). The T20Is will be hosted by Ranchi (October 7), Guwahati (October 10) and Hyderabad (October 13).

With Agency inputs

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