Axar Patel, if given a chance, will be making his Test debut. (Source: BCCI)
India have called in left-arm spinner Axar Patel to replace all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in the squad for the third and final Test against Sri Lanka at Pallekele. Jadeja was handed a one match suspension by ICC after he had accumulated six demerit points inside two-year time period.
The third Test begins on Saturday in Kandy and Patel will join the team after his India ‘A’ tour South Africa which ended on Tuesday. But, whether the 23-year-old will replace the world number one bowler in the playing XI is yet to be seen.
India completed a series win by winning the second Test in Colombo on Sunday by an innings and 53 runs and shortly after, ICC announced that Jadeja has been handed a one-match ban. The ICC said that during Sri Lanka’s second innings, one of Jadeja’s throw was “in dangerous manner”.
Jadeja had fielded the ball off his own bowling and threw it at batsman Malinda Pushpakumara but according to on-field umpires, it was thrown in a dangerous manner.
On Tuesday, Jadeja, who is already the world number one bowler, was named the world number one all-rounder by ICC. He overtook Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib-Al-Hasan for the top position.
With Jadeja missing out, it will be either Patel, who has played 30 international matches, or chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav turning up for India in third Test, which will also be an opportunity to complete a series sweep. R Ashwin is India’s leading spinner at the moment and he remains a first choice.