All-rounder Axar Patel is ruled out of India's first Test against England at Chennai after picking up a knee injury during the side's optional training session on Thursday. After a victorious and a gruelling campaign Down Under, the Men in Blue are back at home to face a formidable England in a four-game Test series set to be played in Chennai and Ahmedabad. Spinners Shahbaz Nadeem and Rahul Chahar, who had been a part of India's standby team and have been training with the side, have been added to India's squad while injured Axar Patel is currently being monitored by the BCCI's medical teams.
"Axar Patel has been ruled out of the first Paytm Test against England. The all-rounder complained of pain in his left knee during Team India’s optional training session on Thursday. He is being monitored by the BCCI Medical Team and while his detailed reports are awaited, he will not be available for selection for the opening match", BCCI's media release read.
"The All-India Senior Selection Committee has added spinners Shahbaz Nadeem and Rahul Chahar to India’s squad. Both Nadeem and Chahar have been training with Team India as part of the standby group of players".
On the eve of the first Test against England, Indian skipper Virat Kohli has confirmed that Rishabh Pant will assume wicketkeeping duties at the Chepauk following his glorious form in Australia. Kohli, who has returned to the squad after missing last three Tests Down Under, exuded confidence in the youngster and remarked that Pant will continue to be 'backed'. The Indian skipper also confirmed that Jasprit Bumrah will start at the Chepauk highlighting his heroics against England in the last home series. He also hinted at continuing with the opening pair of Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma in the long haul.
With the finale berth of the World Test Championship being the prize of the series, the Tests between India and England promise to be cracker as both teams are riding high confidence with a series win against Sri Lanka and Australia. The tour kicks off with the first Test that will be played in Chennai's M.A. Chidambaram Stadium. The second Test match will also be played at the same venue between February 13-17. The newly renovated Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad will be contesting the final two games (Feb 24-28) & (March 4-8) respectively. The BCCI has also opened gates for crowds from the second Test onwards allowing fans to catch the action live.
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