Lahiru Kumara ruled out of Test
Sri Lanka’s injury crisis continued into the second Test starting on Saturday (12), with speedster Lahiru Kumara being ruled out of the pink-ball Test with the hamstring injury which he had aggravated during the first Test in Mohali which the Lankans lost by an innings and 222 runs, under three days on Sunday (6).
The fit-again 28-year-old Indo slow left-arm orthodox spinner Axar Rajeshbhai Patel is to replace Kuldeep Yadav in the Indian squad ahead of their second and final cricket Test against Sri Lanka.
The day-and-night pink-ball Test will begin at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, also called Bangalore, the capital of India’s southern Karnataka state, on Saturday (12) at 2.30 p.m.
All-rounder Patel has replaced left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav. The Indian team management had yesterday (7) released Yadav from the Indian squad.
Axar had been recovering from a shin injury that had forced him to miss the South Africa tour and the recent Twenty20 International series against the West Indies.
He had also tested positive for Covid-19 recently.
“Axar was the first choice (out of the two spinners) but had to undergo recovery and hence Kuldeep was a backup,” a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) source had told PTI yesterday.
“Now Axar is fit and back so Kuldeep has been released,” the source added.
Kuldeep last played a Test in February 2021. The 27-year-old has played seven Test matches so far for India taking 26 wickets, including two five-wicket hauls, at an average of 23.84.
Patel has taken 36 wickets in five Tests at an impressive average of 11.86. He will be a real challenge for the Sri Lankan batters in Bengaluru. The lanky bowler has already taken five five-fers and one ten-fer in his five Tests.
At the time of announcing the squad for the two-Test series against Sri Lanka, the BCCI had said Axar was expected to be fit for the second game.