Axar Patel was India A’s second-highest wicket-taker in the recently concluded tri-series in South Africa © Cricket Australia/Getty Images
India have brought in left-arm spin-bowling allrounder Axar Patel for the Pallekele Test, as a replacement for the suspended Ravindra Jadeja. He will be the third spinner in the squad behind offspinner R Ashwin and left-arm wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav.
Axar is yet to make his debut in Test cricket, but has played 30 ODIs and seven T20 internationals. He has played 23 first-class matches and taken 79 wickets at 30.37. He has just finished playing the 50-over tri-series in South Africa with India A. He finished the team’s third-highest wicket-taker in the series with seven wickets in four games and an economy rate of 4.11.
Jadeja was suspended at the end of the second Test for disciplinary issues; following an incident where he threw the ball at batsman Malinda Pushpakumara “in a dangerous manner” according to the on-field umpires. He was given three demerit points, taking his total to six demerit points inside a 24-month period which triggered a one-Test suspension. Incidentally, he was the Man of the Match in that Test for his his unbeaten 70 off 85 balls and second-innings five-for, following which he moved to No. 1 on the Test allrounder rankings, to go with his No. 1 rating among Test bowlers.
The Pallekele Test begins on August 12. India have already won the three-match series, with victories in Galle and at the SSC.
Updated India squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-capt), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund
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