India, Australia make last-minute changes to World Cup squads

Australia and India have announced a change each in their World Cup squad, with September 28 being the deadline for teams for any last-minute replacements.

Experienced off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has secured his spot in India's final 15-member side for the upcoming event that begins on October 5.

Ashwin, 37, steps in for Axar Patel, who had originally been included in the preliminary squad but has been unable to recover from a left quadriceps strain sustained during the Asia Cup clash against Bangladesh on September 15.

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Ashwin has already joined the team in Guwahati, where their first warm-up match against England is scheduled for September 30.

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The Tamil Nadu player was picked after a gap of 20 months in the format for the home series against Australia and played two out of the three games. He showcased his skills, clinching four wickets, including picking up 3-41 in the second ODI held in Indore.

His bowling variations, especially the carrom ball, proved to be a formidable challenge for both David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne, as he dismissed both in-form players in quick succession en route an India win.

Ashwin's inclusion in the squad brings an off-spin dimension to India's bowling arsenal, complementing the left-arm orthodox spin of Ravindra Jadeja and the left-arm wrist-spin of Kuldeep Yadav.

Australia include Labuschagne over Ashton Agar in World Cup squad

Meanwhile, Australia have also made a significant change to their 15-man World Cup squad, bringing in Labuschagne as a replacement for the injured Ashton Agar. This is the lone change to the original squad.

Travis Head, the dynamic batter, has retained his spot for the event despite dealing with a fractured wrist. Cricket Australia, however, remain optimistic about his potential return to action midway through the tournament.

The left-arm spinner Agar was initially chosen as one of the two frontline spinners when the preliminary squad was announced on September 6. However, a calf injury sustained during the tour of South Africa along with his return home for the birth of his first child forced him to miss the series against India.

Labuschagne, initially not picked in the squad was called up as a concussion substitute to Cameron Green during the South Africa series. He emerged as the leading run-scorer with a tally of 283 runs from five matches at an impressive average of 70.75. He continued to impress in India, contributing an additional 138 runs at an average of 46 across three games, and forced himself into the squad.

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