According to reports from PTI, India are set to make a change to their line-up after the loss in the first Test against England. They are set to replace left-arm orthodox bowler Shahbaz Nadeem who underperformed with Axar Patel. It is noteworthy that it was Axar who was set to play the first Test but a knock to his knee meant that at the last moment, Nadeem was drafted into the squad and hence, the playing XI.
If only the said change takes place, Kuldeep Yadav who hasn’t played a Test in over two years but is perpetually a part of the squad, won’t get to play even as fans, former cricketers and experts call for his inclusion. Further, the pitch in Chennai proved to be flat in the first two days and according to the reports, it is set to offer more turn and purchase for the spinners right from the first day onwards.
Kuldeep Yadav could come in for Washington Sundar
A senior BCCI official reportedly spoke to PTI today about bringing in Axar Patel and said, “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 Bharat Arun.”
However, it remains unclear if the said change would be the only one made to the line-up. Since Axar Patel strengthens the batting, there is a case for Washington Sundar who couldn’t shine with the ball, to be replaced by Kuldeep Yadav.
The second Test takes place in Chennai and begins on the 13th of February.