Washington Sundar lands in Colombo as last-minute replacement; Axar Patel ruled out of Asia Cup final due to injury
The BCCI on Saturday confirmed that Axar Patel has been ruled out of the Asia Cup final with a left quadriceps strain.
The Indian squad in Sri Lanka saw a new addition as Washington Sundar flew to Colombo as a last minute reinforcement ahead of the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka on Sunday. The all-rounder replaces Axar Patel, who was hit a couple of times on his wrist and forearm area while batting in the match against Bangladesh on Friday, which India lost by six runs.
The BCCI confirmed on Saturday evening that Axar suffered left quadriceps strain sustained during India's Super Four match against Bangladesh. As a result, he won't be available for the final.
Earlier, wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik had teased fans with a cryptic tweet revealing the same, much before the news broke out.
"Washington Sundar bumped into me at the airport
“Guess where he's off to Twitter ???” - he wrote.
Meanwhile, Shubman Gill had earlier informed reporters that there were no major concern with Axar, calling the pain “temporary”.
On being asked about the all-rounder's status following the Bangladesh clash, Gill during the post-match press conference said: “I don't think there is anything wrong with Axar. I think that was temporary and nothing to worry about.”
Axar Patel's bowling concern
While if we look at Axar's current form it's hard to conclude if his injury is a blessing in disguise for the Indian team. The all-rounder has been a good hit with the bat, however, it is his bowling, which has raised questions about his selection.
Axar was given a chance for the first time in the tournament against Sri Lanka in the Super 4 stage. Axar then chipped in with a crucial 36-ball 26, taking India's total to a modest 213/10 in 49.1 overs. He then followed it up with an impressive 34-ball 42 against Bangladesh, albeit it coming in a losing cause.
But if we take a look at his bowling figures, Axar has been far from clinical. He was seen struggling in the match against Sri Lanka on a track dominated by spinners. He was only asked to bowl five overs despite India opting for a three-faced spin attack and didn't account for a single scalp while leaking 29 runs in them.
If we switch focus to the previous match against Bangladesh, Axar bowled nine overs and managed one wicket.
Also Read | Ex-Pakistan captain makes mockery of Axar's bowling, asks, 'If he didn't get any turn on Colombo pitch, where will he?'
Meanwhile, Sundar is expected to link up with the rest of the team later in the day. He is also part of the Asian Games squad, which will take part in the continental event in Hangzhou, China.
Sundar will probably head to Bengaluru after the final on Sunday where he and the other members of the Asian Games assemble for a two-week preparation camp.
Sundar was last seen in action in the T20I series against Ireland held last month, and it will be interesting to see if he breaks straight into the XI.
Sundar can prove to be handy with his off-breaks, especially against Sri Lankan left-handers at the top as he has a good amount of experience of bowling in the powerplay overs.
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