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Virat Kohli hints at the inclusion of Ravichandran Ashwin against South Africa

The match would be crucial for India's progress to the semi-final stage of the competition

India captain Virat Kohli
India captain Virat Kohli. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

If there were one question that the reporters liked to ask the Indian skipper Virat Kohli after the conclusion of every game, it would be the exclusion of Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI despite his heroic performance in the long home season.

Virat Kohli gave out more information on whether the off-spinner Ashwin would be included in the squad after missing out against Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the two matches that India have played thus far in the Champions Trophy.

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The match against South Africa on Sunday would be a virtual quarter-final for the Indian team, and a failure would result in the exit of the team from the competition. Up until the match against South Africa, the Indian team has been rather unchanged.

Hardik Pandya/Ravindra Jadeja could make their way out:

Once again the Indian skipper was asked if the off-spinner would be included in the squad at the expense of either Jadeja or the Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya. The question arises as South Africa feature three left-handers in the top 5 of their batting line-up in the form of Quinton de Kock, David Miller and JP Duminy, and Ashwin’s inclusion might be a plus for Virat Kohli.

“Yeah, as I said there are all kinds of possibilities. We definitely have looked at the last game and where we can make a bit of change. We’ve already discussed those things, and yeah, I’m not going to reveal anything now, but everything is possible. You can have any sort of combination possible for us starting tomorrow,” the captain said at the pre-match press conference on Saturday (June 10).

The match would be crucial for India’s progress to the semi-final stage of the competition, with the title of defending champions hanging in the thin air following the loss at the hands of Asian neighbours Sri Lanka in the previous match.

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