India all-rounder Axar Patel has been ruled out of the first Test against England in Chennai after complaining of pain in his left knee. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, and legspinner Rahul Chahar have been added to India’s squad.
“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.
India vs England Live Score, 1st Test at Chennai, Day 1
“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.
Axar was picked in the squad as a like-for-like replacement for Ravindra Jadeja, who is out with injury. Axar is yet to play a Test for India, and was perhaps in line for a debut in Chennai.
Nadeem has played one Test while Chahar hasn’t. Both Nadeem and Chahar have been regulars at the India A level and were training with the Indian team in the bubble.
Virat Kohli Confirms Gabba Hero Rishabh Pant Will Play First England Test
On the eve of the match, captain Virat Kohli had confirmed that Rishabh Pant would keep wickets while Kuldeep Yadav will be in the team’s plans.
“Yes, Rishabh will start. Rishabh will take the gloves. He has had impact performances in Australia recently. He is in a good space. And we want him to build on this. Along with him improving all aspects of his game. Which will happen with more game time, and the more confidence he gains playing the games," he said.
“That is how we look at Rishabh. He has come along very nicely after the IPL. He came to Australia, he wasn’t a part of the white-ball formats. He kept working hard on his fitness, on his game, and he realised the importance of putting in that work and got the results eventually, which all of us were happy to see because he is someone whom we had backed quite a lot. For good reason. Because of what you saw in Australia. That brings in a lot of value to the team. He will continue to be backed. He is an impact player. Along with his hard work, he can definitely be a very very consistent matchwinner for India. Someone the opposition will definitely be wary of whenever they play India.
“Someone like Kuldeep hasn’t had a lot of game time but now that the home season starts, he will in the scheme of things, he will be in the team plans, but to keep guys motivated you need to give them goals. There is something or the other to work towards when you are part of the Indian cricket team. And we are striving for excellence on a daily basis.
“Kuldeep is someone who has got a lot of skill. He understands there were areas in his game that he had to work on, which he has worked in beautifully in Australia. I see him fitter, I see his bowling improved much more than it was before. I see he has added to his skill sets as well. It is about giving them goals. And these guys are young. So they understand that once an opportunity arrives, and they start capitalising on them, the careers are long. These are the people who are going to take Indian cricket forward. It is very important to keep them motivated, give them goals to take their games to the next level."
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