Axar Patel or Jayant Yadav might be called into the Indian team for the third and last Test match against Sri Lanka as a backup for Ravindra Jadeja, who has been suspended for the Pallekele Test. Though the side have a spinner in form of Kuldeep Yadav but the team management is keen to have a backup spinner, in case of any issues,
“Since Axar will be finishing his one-day engagements by Tuesday evening, he can join the team on Thursday (August 10). Logically, he is a like for like replacement in absence of Jadeja,” a BCCI official told PTI.
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Earlier, Axar was also called in the Test squad as a backup for Jadeja ahead of the Chennai Test against England, during which he injured his thumb and was ruled out for limited over series that followed.
At present, Axar Patel is a part of India A limited overs side, that won the tri-series final today (August 8). If team India needs a backup in form of Jadeja for the final game, then Axar can be the best option, keeping in mind that he is an all-rounder and can contribute with the bat as well. However, there are just slender of chances of captain Kohli looking for some other player as Kuldeep is an automatic choice to replace Jadeja in the playing XI.
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The second name which has emerged out as a backup for Jadeja is Jayant Yadav, who made his Test debut during the long home season. The all-rounder was a part of India A squad for the One-dayers and unofficial Test matches but flew back to the country due to personal reasons. He has already been replaced by Krishnappa Gowtham in the India A side but he can’t be ruled out of an India call-up as he showed his prowess with both bat and ball in the chances he got. At present, he averages 45.60 with the bat with a highest score of 104. He also has 11 wickets to his name. If added, Yadav will give a strong competition to Kuldeep. However, Kohli might be reluctant to take two off-spinners in the game.
The third Test between India and Sri Lanka starts from August 12 in Colombo. Visitors are leading the series by a margin of 2-0.
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