India vs England 2nd Test: Axar Patel makes Test debut against England in Chennai
India allrounder Axar Patel was handed a Test cap by skipper Virat Kohli ahead of the 2nd Test against England at MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai. The left-arm spinner became the 302nd player to receive a Test cap for India. Axar will be making his Test debut after missing the first Test due to a strain in his left knee.
The left-arm spinner was replaced by Shahbaz Nadeem and Rahul Chahar in the squad with the former getting a game. But Nadeem struggled in the match, and the two spinners were removed from the squad after Axar regained fitness.
Axar, who made a name for himself with the IPL, has played 38 ODIs and 11 T20Is for India so far. He has picked 45 ODI wickets at an average of 31.31 and 9 T20I wickets at an average of 29.44.
The pitch in Chennai is expected to be a turner, and the addition of Axar will provide India with an additional spin bowling option, who can also hit a few big strokes with the bat if required.
Meanwhile, India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane was asked to respond to the criticism over Pujara's slow batting at the pre-match press conference. The Mumbaikar stated that no one in the team has ever questioned him.
"See no one questioned his batting approach in the team and that's what matters. What people talk outside doesn't matter to us," Rahane told reporters.
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant(w), Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj