Left-arm all-rounder Axar Patel was seen bowling and batting in India’s net session ahead of the second Test, also to be played in Chennai from February 13. In fact, Axar was scheduled to make his Test debut in the first Test but was ruled out on the morning of the first day after complaining of some pain in his knee.
This led to the Indian team going in with Shahbaz Nadeem, whose underwhelming performance in both the innings became the talk of the town, as India lost the match by 227 runs and went 0-1 down in the four-match series. Axar Patel was included in the Indian Test squad as a like-to-like replacement for injured Ravindra Jadeja, who suffered from a dislocated thumb during SCG Test in Australia.
Axar Patel’s Inclusion Changes Indian Team’s Dynamics
Indian captain Virat Kohli had said in a video conference that Axar Patel was named in Team India’s 18-man squad for the first two Tests against England because of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja’s absence. Like the Saurashtra players, Patel is also an all-rounder and could provide the team with the necessary balance needed to play 5 proper bowlers and have a long batting lineup as well.
Axar Patel has a fine first-class record, having scored 1665 runs in 39 games at a healthy average of 35.42, including 13 fifties and a hundred. And has picked up 134 wickets in the same span. His injury also meant that India played Washington Sundar as the all-rounder in the first Test, and though he did well with the bat with an innings of 85* in the first do, he failed to pick up a wicket in both innings.
However, BCCI shared a video of Axar Patel bowling and batting in the nets. The 27-year-old was seen bowling a few deliveries to Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Later, he faced some quick balls from the pacers and looked a bit rusty to start with. However, he gradually began to time the ball well. Him getting back into the groove is nothing but good news for the Indian team.
Also Read: India vs England 2021: Axar Patel Will Be Preferred Over Kuldeep Yadav Feels Deep Dasgupta
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 11, 2021