Axar Patel was handed his Test cap before the second India-England Test. The 27-year-old all-rounder will make his debut in the longest format of the game at Chepauk. Patel came into the Indian side after recovering from a knee injury which kept him out of the first Test at the same venue.
The BCCI uploaded a clip of the special moment on Twitter as Axar Patel received his Test cap from Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
In the video, Virat Kohli is seen handing the Test cap to Axar Patel, with the rest of the Indian team standing in a huddle and applauding. The all-rounder was also congratulated by head coach Ravi Shastri before other members of Team India wished Axar Patel well.
Patel will have a crucial role to play in the second Chennai Test. Being a left-arm spinner, he is expected to perform well against the right-handed batsmen in the England team. With Axar Patel likely to come in at No.7, he will have to contribute with the bat as well.
Except Ravichandran Ashwin, the Indian spinners struggled in the first Test. Shahbaz Nadeem didn’t do too well against the right-handers. Washington Sundar, on the other hand, struggled on a placid wicket, going wicketless in the first Test.
How good is Axar Patel’s first-class record?
While Axar Patel will make his Test debut today, he has experience of playing first-class cricket. In 39 games, he has picked up 134 wickets at an impressive average of 27.38.
He has shone with the bat as well, scoring 1665 runs at an average of 35.42. Axar Patel has a solitary ton and 13 half-centuries to his name.
With Ravindra Jadeja injured, Axar Patel is directly competing with Washington Sundar for the all-rounder’s spot. A solid debut will cement his place in the team as India search for a spin bowling all-rounder who can support Ravichandran Ashwin in home conditions.