(Reuters) – KL Rahul will lead a second-string India team in the first two one-day internationals of a three-match series against Australia this month, with regular captain Rohit Sharma returning for the final game, the country’s cricket board said on Monday.
Several of India’s regulars have been rested for the first two games, including captain Rohit, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav.
The squad for the final match is the one that will be part of India’s World Cup campaign on home soil – with the addition of Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar, who will be available for all three games.
Ashwin, India’s preferred spinner in test cricket, played the last of his 113 one-day internationals in January 2022 and was left out of the provisional squad announced earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Axar Patel, who missed the Asia Cup final due to a quadriceps strain, has been named in the squad for the final ODI, but his participation is subject to fitness.
The three ODIs, which will be played between Sept. 22-27 in Mohali, Indore and Rajkot, will serve as a tune-up for the 50-over World Cup which begins on Oct. 5.
Twice champions India, who lost in the semi-finals in 2019, begin their World Cup campaign with an Oct. 8 contest against Australia in Chennai.
SQUAD FOR FIRST TWO ODIS
KL Rahul (captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan , Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna
SQUAD FOR THIRD ODI
Rohit Sharma (captain), Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)