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Knee injury denies Axar Patel opportunity to make Test debut

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Chennai, Feb 5 (IANS) Left-arm spinner Axar Patel missed a chance to make his Test debut on Friday after he was ruled out of the first Test between India and England which began on Friday at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here due to a knee injury.

A BCCI media release stated that the 27-year-old complained of pain in his left knee during the team’s optional practice session on Thursday.

Shahbaz Nadeem and Rahul Chahar, who have been training with the team as part of the standby group of players, were added to the squad. And Nadeem was included in the playing XI in the match where England opted to bat.

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Axar’s inclusion in the Test squad was a concerted move from the team management to find an almost like-for-like replacement for Ravindra Jadeja, who dislocated his thumb in Australia, skipper Virat Kohli had earlier revealed.

“The reason was basically to have someone very similar to (Ravindra) Jadeja’s skillset, which Axar brings in, in all three departments of the game,” Kohli had said on Thursday while speaking to media in a virtual press conference.

“That was the reason behind picking him. That falls directly into our plans. Because Jaddu was not available, Axar was preferred because he brings in the same kind of discipline,” he added.

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The BCCI further said that its medical team would continue to monitor Axar while detailed reports of his injury are yet to be obtained.

Axar has so far played 38 ODIs and 11 T20Is in which he has scalped 45 and nine wickets respectively.

–IANS

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