Team India clinched the three-match ODI series against Australia in the second game in Indore with a massive 99-run win to take an unassailable 2-0 win with the final game to be played in Rajkot on Wednesday, September 27. While winning every game and series is important, however, for both teams this series was always a means to get ready and in the groove for the World Cup. Since several players are resting, sickness to some has really affected the player availability for India for the series finale.
Skipper Rohit Sharma mourned the unavailability of several players as only 13 are there with the team and some local players could be used as substitutes if the need arises. Speaking at the pre-match conference on the eve of the third ODI, Rohit said, "We have got a lot of players who are sick and not available, a lot of players have personal problems so they have gone home and a few of the guys have been rested as well. We have got 13 players at this point in time.
“Obviously, Gill has been rested, Shami, Hardik and Shardul have all gone home…again, personal things. Axar, obviously, is not available for this game,” the skipper added.
Rohit mentioned that there is a viral going around, which has added to the uncertainty in the group. Three Asian Games bound players Ruturaj Gaikwad, Mukesh Kumar and Tilak Varma were released from the squad and the question over Axar Patel still hangs given there are just three days left for the warm-up game and any change in the squad after September 27 will be made in discussion with ICC's technical committee.
“There is a bit of viral going around in the team as well. So, there is a lot of uncertainty in the team at this point in time which we cannot help. Looking at the next few weeks it is quite important for us to look after the players and their well-being.
“So, it is okay for them to be at home at this point — the reason being we want everybody to be fresh during the World Cup and hopefully they can come back fresh,” Rohit further added. A clean sweep beckons for India on Wednesday and with the senior pros coming back, Rohit will be eager to give that push.
India's likely playing XI for 3rd ODI against Australia: Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj