India vs England 2021: Axar Patel Fit For The Second Test; Shahbaz Nadeem Likely To Be Dropped

India vs England 2021: Axar Patel Fit For The Second Test; Shahbaz Nadeem Likely To Be Dropped

Axar Patel, India vs West Indies 2019
Axar Patel. Credit: BCCI

In the latest news, all-rounder Axar Patel is almost certain to play in the second Test against England as he regains his full fitness and hit the nets after missing out from the first Test.

Axar Patel, who was announced as a replacement for Ravindra Jadeja, sustained a knee injury briefly before the first Test in Chennai commenced. As a result, Shahbaz Nadeem, who was picked as a stand-by, was drafted straight into the playing eleven.

It is reported that Axar Patel was going to play in the first Test match and could have made his Test debut but missed out due to the injury. However, now since the Gujarat-born bowling all-rounder is fit and has started batting in the nets, he is likely to feature in the second Test at the same venue which begins on Saturday.

Shahbaz Nadeem
Shahbaz Nadeem. Credit: AP

“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.

“He was always first choice to play the opening Test but it will depend on skipper Virat Kohli, head coach Ravi Shastri and bowling coach Bharath Arun,” a senior BCCI source told PTI on Wednesday.

Kuldeep Yadav to finally return to the eleven?

While Axar Patel would be happy to make his Test debut for India, another person who would be delighted to see him fit would be Kuldeep Yadav. It was a major surprise that Kuldeep Yadav was not selected in the first Test.

Captain Virat Kohli had later said that he had no regrets in excluding Kuldeep – Kohli said that the trio of Kuldeep with R Ashwin and Washington Sundar would have been all similar kind spinning the ball away from the left-hander.

Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav. Image Credits: Twitter

Also, Nadeem came in as a direct replacement for Axar, both like-for-like bowlers bowling left-arm off-spin, but Axar loss meant that India couldn’t field an all-rounder at 7 had they gone with Kuldeep over Sundar.

Now, with Axar Patel taking up the all-rounder’s spot, it is probable that Kuldeep Yadav, who hasn’t played a single Test since picking a 5-wicket haul in Sydney two years ago, also stands a chance to return to the eleven. Considering the bowling returns of Nadeem and Sundar in the first Test, Kuldeep Yadav could get the nod for the second Test.

Also Read: India vs England 2021: “Virat Kohli Will Step Down From Captaincy If India Loses Second Test”, Says Monty Panesar