Axar Patel ruled out of first Test; Rahul Chahar and Shahbaz Nadeem added to India’s squad

Axar Patel

Washington Sundar

Indian all-rounder Axar Patel has been ruled out of the first Test against England. The 27-year-old reportedly suffered a strain in his left knee during Team India’s nets session on Thursday.

Axar Patel looked in line to make his Test debut in Chennai on Friday. Indian skipper Virat Kohli had also hinted that the left-arm spinner is almost a like-for-like replacement for Ravindra Jadeja, who is currently out injured.

“Axar Patel has been ruled out of the first Paytm Test against England. The all-rounder complained of pain in his left knee during Team India’s optional training session on Thursday. He is being monitored by the BCCI Medical Team and while his detailed reports are awaited, he will not be available for selection for the opening match,” a statement BCCI read.

Left-arm orthodox spinner Shahbaz Nadeem and leg-spinner Rahul Chahar have been added to the Indian squad. The duo are part of the standby group of players, who have been training with Team India.

“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has added spinners Shahbaz Nadeem and Rahul Chahar to India’s squad. Both Nadeem and Chahar have been training with Team India as part of the standby group of players,” BCCI said in a statement,” the statement further read.

Axar Patel has played 39 first-class matches, picking up 134 wickets at a commendable average of 27.4. The all-rounder also has scored over 1600 runs in his first-class career.

Washington Sundar, who played a key role behind India’s famous win over Australia at the Gabba Test, is the most likely replacement for Axar Patel. The off-spinner could join Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav in forming India’s spin trio on the traditionally slow Chennai wicket.

Sundar took four crucial wickets on his Test debut in Brisbane, including the prized scalp of Steve Smith. The 21-year-old also scored an important half-century in the first innings.

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