IND vs SL: Fit-again Axar Patel replaced Kuldeep Yadav for the second Test against Sri Lanka, beginning Saturday.
Fit-again all-rounder Axar Patel, who was recovering from a shin injury that had forced him to miss the South Africa tour and the T20 series against West Indies, returned to the Indian set-up as he replaced Kuldeep Yadav for the second Test against Sri Lanka, beginning Saturday.
Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep has had his fair share of struggles since the past couple of years, keeping him out of the playing mix for a long stretch. He last played a Test for India back in February 2021.
The Indian team management has released Kuldeep from the squad and either Axar or Mohammed Siraj could replace Jayant Yadav in the playing XI. But what lies ahead for Kuldeep? Vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah has clarified that the management hasn’t removed the chinaman bowler from the team and he’s been released due to the “mental aspect”.
“We have not removed him (Kuldeep Yadav) from the team. He has been in the bubble for along time and hence he has been released. Staying in a bubble is not easy. The mental aspect is important,” said Bumrah in the presser ahead of the second Test.(IND vs SL)
Bumrah also heaped praise on Axar, saying the all-rounder adds a lot of value with his return to the squad. Axar in his last Pink ball Test had wreaked havoc with his undercutters in Ahmedabad against England, taking 11 wickets in that contest. He even opened the attack in the second England innings.
“Axar Patel has added a lot of value whenever he has played, has contributed a lot and offers a lot in all departments. He was injured but he jumps straight back in when he’s fit. We’ll discuss our combination but of course he’s valuable,” Bumrah further said.
The Bengaluru Test will be the fourth Day-Night Test for both India and Sri Lanka, and both share similar record of two wins and a defeat each. It will also be the last Test match on home soil for India in 2022. The team next will travel to Bangladesh for a two-match series and then Australia will arrive for a four-Test series in 2023.(IND vs SL)
IND vs SL: Axar Patel added to squad ahead of 2nd Test, Kuldeep Yadav released
IND vs SL: Left-arm spinner Axar Patel has been added to India’s Test squad ahead of the second Test against Sri Lanka, while chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav has been released, the BCCI announced on Tuesday.
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel has been added to India’s Test squad ahead of the second match against Sri Lanka starting March 12 in Bengaluru, while chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav has been released, the BCCI announced on Tuesday.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has added Axar Patel to India’s squad for the second Paytm Test to be played from 12-16th March in Bengaluru. The all-rounder has completed his rehab and has been cleared by the BCCI Medical Team. Kuldeep Yadav has been released from the squad for the second Test,” the BCCI said in a statement.
Axar last featured for India during the first Test against New Zealand in November last year, after which he was subsequently ruled out due to a shin injury. Axar was part of the T20Is against West Indies last month but was ruled out after failing to recover entirely in time. He had also contracted Covid-19.
Kuldeep’s release signals another roadblock for the spinner. He has featured in only a handful of matches for India over the last couple of years and had undergone a surgery last year. But since he did not get a game against Sri Lanka in the first Test, with Jayant Yadav getting the nod ahead of him, the future looks a bit uncertain for Kuldeep. Jayant went wicketless in both innings.
Axar is likely to be India’s third spinner for the day/night Test in Bengaluru provided Rohit Sharma decides to stick to the same combination. The left-arm spinner has had a tremendous start to his Test career, bagging 36 wickets from just five Tests at a stunning average of 11.86. In India’s last pink ball Test at home – against England in Ahmedabad last year – Axar had registered a match-haul of 11/70. His effort helped India decimate England in only two days.
Against New Zealand, Axar had completed his fifth five-wicket haul in fourth Test and became the Indian with most five-wicket hauls in first four Tests, joining the likes of former English pacer Tom Richardson and ex-Australian seamer Rodney Hogg. The only cricketer to have more five-wicket hauls than the trio is former Australian cricketer Charlie Turner, who had six fiver-fors in his first four appearances. The previous most by Indians in Tests is three each by former cricketer L Sivaramakrishnan and Narendra Hirwani.
He also equalled Hogg’s 1978 feat of most five-wicket hauls in Tests in the year of debut. Hogg had picked his fifth five-fer in just three Tests in 1978. Axar also became the joint second fastest to five five-wicket hauls in Tests, alongside Turner and Richardson. Hogg was the fastest cricketer to the feat.