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CWC 2023: Sunil Gavaskar unhappy with Team India for omitting Ravichandran Ashwin from game against Afghanistan


In a surprising alteration to their lineup, India‘s playing XI for their second ODI World Cup 2023 match against Afghanistan bore a notable shift as they exchanged the seasoned Ravichandran Ashwin for Shardul Thakur. The change garnered attention and raised eyebrows, primarily because Ashwin was an integral part of India’s three-pronged spin attack that triumphed against the five-time champions, Australia, in a low-scoring battle in Chennai. When the announcement came from India’s skipper, Rohit Sharma, at the toss, it triggered a visible display of frustration from the legendary Sunil Gavaskar.

Sunil Gavaskar fumes over Ravichandran Ashwin’s exclusion

In a candid conversation with the Star Sports broadcaster after the toss, Gavaskar shared his bewilderment at the decision to sideline Ashwin once again. He couldn’t fathom what the spin maestro had done to find himself in this predicament. The 74-year-old also lamented the absence of Mohammed Shami from India’s playing XI, especially considering Shami’s exceptional feat of claiming a hat-trick against the same opposition, Afghanistan, in 2019 World Cup.

“Once again Ashwin misses out, I don’t know what he has done wrong. He is used to being left out of the team. I thought what Shami had done against them (Afghanistan) in 2019, getting a hat-trick, he would get a go,” Gavaskar said.

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India’s match against Afghanistan

As the contest unfolded, India found themselves on the field  after losing the toss, as Afghanistan’s skipper, Hashmatullah Shahidi, opted to bat first. This pivotal match occurred at the iconic Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi. Apart from the significant change involving Ashwin’s replacement with Shardul, India retained the rest of the lineup that featured in their tournament opener against Australia.

Also READ: CWC 2023: Why is India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin not playing today’s match against Afghanistan?

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