Former Australia captain Aaron Finch feels Ravichandran Ashwin will not make it to India's 2023 World Cup squad despite playing the first two ODIs of the ongoing three-match series against Australia.
Ashwin replaced an injured Axar Patel in India's playing 11 for the home series. The veteran off-spinner showed decent control and variations with the ball, delivering spells of 1/47 and 3/41. Axar, meanwhile, has now been ruled out of the third ODI as well because he couldn't recover from his left quadriceps strain as expected.
However, with Kuldeep Yadav returning to the squad, Ashwin might have to warm the bench again.
"I think he (Ashwin) might struggle to make it to the final 15, but as somebody who has played so much cricket, I think the rest of the group that is with the Indian team for this current series against Australia, they could learn so much about big game play," Finch said on Star Sports.
"Because Ashwin is somebody that stands up in big games, whether it's a test match or a T20 game, he has done it all throughout his career. So I wouldn't be surprised if he's there at the moment as a mentor around the group, but I don't see him making that last 15, unfortunately," he added.
Finch felt that although the wickets at the later stage of the World Cup might suit Ashwin, India wouldn't want to think too much about that now.
Recent reports have also suggested that Axar is likely to recover in time for the World Cup. This would rule out the much-talked possibility of Ashwin's remarkable return for the mega event.
Finch picks four key bowlers for the 2023 World Cup
The former opener also picked four pacers, one each from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and India as his key bowlers to watch out for in the World Cup.
"I think Trent Bolt, Mitchell Starc, and (Kagiso) Rabada, these guys, especially (Mohammed) Siraj, he's as good as anyone in the world at the moment," he said.
The World Cup will kick off on October 5 in Ahmedabad.