If reports are to believed, Axar Patel is in line to play India’s second Test against England, starting February 13 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Patel missed out on the opening Test at the same venue after he developed a knee niggle. The 27-year-old has played 38 ODIs and 11 T20Is but is yet to make his debut in Test cricket after playing 39 first-class matches.
The southpaw returned to bowling earlier this week and is said to have undergone a fast recovery. He’s most likely to replace Shahbaz Nadeem, who had a mediocre outing in the first Test. Nadeem picked up four wickets but was often guilty of bowling no-balls. Despite not playing a Test thus far, Patel remains their first-choice spinner ahead of Nadeem for a place in the national team.Axar Patel was always the first choice to play the opening Test: BCCI source
“Axar had a minor knee niggle and has already started batting at the nets. He is expected to start bowling during the next couple of days,” a senior BCCI source was quoted as saying in Times Now on Wednesday, February 10. “He was always the first choice to play the opening Test but it will depend on skipper Virat Kohli, head coach Ravi Shastri and bowling coach Bharath Arun,” the source stated.
Axar Patel playing the second Test invariably means that Kuldeep Yadav may have to warm the benches again. After making his debut in 2017, Kuldeep has played six Tests but hasn’t donned the whites in the last two years since the Sydney Test in 2019. Earlier, former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar also called for Kuldeep’s inclusion for the second Test.
Axar Patel Kuldeep Yadav for the next Test in place of Nadeem or Washington Sundar, whoever it is. But they need to look at dismissing England for lesser than what they scored this around. I think Shahbaz Nadeem got just a little bit nervous. I’m not even talking about the way he bowls but the no-balls it’s always an indication that the bowler is a little too anxious,” Gavaskar had said.