India’s plan ahead of the first Test in Chennai has suffered a big blow. All-rounder Axar Patel has been ruled out with a knee injury. Patel was roped in as a like for like replacement for Ravindra Jadeja. But he has joined the long list of injured players on the eve of the series opener.
A BCCI media release stated that the 27-year-old complained of pain in his left knee during the team’s optional practice session on Thursday (February 4). Axar was all set to make his Test debut as the third spinner of the side. But it will have to wait as BCCI’s medical team awaits detailed reports of his injury are yet to be obtained.
Shahbaz Nadeem and Rahul Chahar, who have been training with the team as part of the standby group of players, have been added to the squad.
India’s probable XI
India has always been a team with a conventional approach. And it wouldn’t be a surprise if they continue to stick to their five bowlers ploy for this series too. Axar’s injury paves way for Washington Sundar to retain his place from the Gabba Test. Meanwhile, Kuldeep Yadav is a front runner for the Test and we might see India opting for only two quicks.
On the other hand, there are no surprises in the batting unit. Captain Virat Kohli yesterday confirmed, in a press meet, that Shubman Gill and Rishabh Pant will be retaining their places from the Australia series. The final XI will be confirmed in a few minutes time at the toss as both times will look to start the series on a high.