Ahmedabad: It is just three hours to go for the toss of the much anticipated World Cup 2023 final clash between India and Australia.
When skipper Rohit Sharma walks to the toss, billions of fans will be eager to see if the Men in Blue go with the same playing eleven or pick up Ravichandran Ashwin considering the nature of the track at the Motera, where the biggest game of this decade will be played.
The ace offspinner was not the first choice of the five wise men, who picked up the Indian squad initially. The Tamil Nadu offie was included in the last minute when Gujarat spinner Axar Patel was ruled out due to an injury.
Ashwin is a big match player and has the ability to run through the Australian batting line up which boasts star batters like David Warner, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell and young guns like Marnus Labuschange is well-known given his past track record.
For the record, on the eve of the game, Ashwin had a long net and he had also a look at the surface. Considering the nature of the pitch, a used wicket, where the India-Pakistan match was played earlier in the league stage of the ICC Cricket World Cup, Ashiwn can come in handholding.
But the question is if Ashwin, who is a big match player and was also a member of the 2011 World Cup-winning 2011 Indian squad, is drafted in, who will sit out?
India is only playing with five specialist bowlers as all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been ruled out of the tournament and pacer Prasidh Krishna was called in as Pandya's replacement.
If given a chance, Ashwin, who is playing his last World Cup, is expected to go out guns blazing. Can Ashwin add another feather to his illustrious cap and will the team management go in for a gamble? Answers will be known in three hours at the world's largest stadium. For now, the question of Ashwin's inclusion remains a tough choice for coach Rahul Dravid and skipper Rohit Sharma.