Axar Patel joins India's Test squad; Kuldeep Yadav released
All-rounder Axar Patel has rejoined India's Test squad after recovering from his injury and attaining fitness. As per Cricbuzz, the left-arm spinner traveled to Mohali where India beat Sri Lanka in the 1st Test. Moreover, the team management has released Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav from the Test squad. The second India-SL Test will begin on March 12 in Bengaluru. Here are further details.
Why does this story matter?
One of India's emerging spinners, Axar Patel, was not picked for the first Test against Sri Lanka. He has been out of action since the Mumbai Test against New Zealand in December due to injury. Axar is now available for selection for the second Test against SL in Bengaluru. Kuldeep, who is not the first-choice spinner for India, has been released.
Axar was undergoing rehabilitation
While announcing India's squad for SL Test series in February 22, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had informed that Axar won't play the series opener. "Axar Patel is currently undergoing his rehab and is not available for selection for the first Test. He will be assessed later to ascertain his selection for the second Test," the cricket board had stated.
Axar has 36 wickets in five Tests
Axar has been on a roll since making his Test in 2021. He has picked 36 wickets from five Tests at a mind-boggling average of 11.86. The tally includes as many as five five-wicket hauls. He holds the record for registering five consecutive hauls of four wickets in an innings in Test cricket. Axar achieved the feat against England.
No requirement for three left-arm spinners
Although Kuldeep was not picked as a cover for Axar, the Indian team management believes there is no need for three left-arm spinners. Ravindra Jadeja is the first-choice left-arm spinner in the Indian squad. Besides, the squad also includes R Ashwin and Jayant Yadav.
India lead the two-match series 1-0
India beat Sri Lanka in the first Test by an innings and 222 runs. Jadeja was adjudged the Player of the Match for contributing with both bat and ball. He scored a record-breaking 175* besides taking nine wickets in the match (five-for in 1st innings). The two teams will now square off in the second Test in Bengaluru, which will be a Day/Night affair.