Three reasons why Kuldeep Yadav should not take Axar Patel’s place in the fourth Test against Australia Axar Patel, a left-arm all-rounder, hasn’t taken any wickets in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy so far, and the management may be considering including Kuldeep Yadav. Consequently, ahead of the upcoming final Test against Australia, Team India faces a selection dilemma.
Axar has not taken a wicket in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy thus far, and he has not taken a wicket in either of the previous two Tests. During the second innings of the third Test in Delhi, he was not even given the opportunity to bowl. He clearly struggles to take on the role of the third spinner in the team, where Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are the two primary spinners.
In contrast, Kuldeep was named player of the match in his most recent Test appearance. He took eight wickets in the first Test against Bangladesh, but in the second game, he was dropped to make room for Jaydev Unadkat.
Let’s take a look at three reasons why Axar should keep his spot in the playing XI for the fourth Test against the Australians, even though there are compelling arguments for the selection of both players for a single spot in the team.
All-rounder Axar Patel, who was born in Gujarat, has an impeccable record in Ahmedabad. In 2021, during the home series against England, Patel famously made his Test debut. He performed admirably in his first appearance for the national team, taking 27 wickets in three Test matches to help India win the series 3-1.
In his first series, he took 27 wickets, 20 of which were at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. In his first Test at the venue, which has a history of ending in two days, Axar took 11 wickets, but he missed out on a 10-wicket haul in the final Test.
Axar’s outstanding track record at the venue is expected to be a factor when the two teams meet, despite the fact that the pitch for the fourth Test against Australia is not anticipated to be rank-turning.
Axar has been one of the most consistent batsmen in the series thus far. Axar’s possible absence from the starting XI will also reduce India’s batting depth, which they may require after being bowled out for 109 and 163 in the Indore Test, which resulted in a nine-wicket loss.
It should be noted that in the infamous third Test, the all-rounder was the only batter who did not get run out in both innings. He ran out of accomplices on each event and there was boundless analysis over the way that he was not advanced up the batting request.
After scoring crucial fifties in the first two Tests, Axar is the second leading run scorer in the ongoing series, just behind Rohit Sharma. In four innings, he has scored 185 runs at an average of 92.50.
Axar’s presence is even more crucial because India have relied on their lower middle order for run contributions in Tests, despite their reluctance to admit it. The hosts’ batting depth is crucial, whether it’s due to the nature of the pitches or the ineffectiveness of top-order batters against spin.
Team India enters the final Test determined to win the series for the fourth time in a row and advance to the World Test Championship (WTC) final. The Men in Blue’s fate is in their own hands, so things are slightly in their favor right now.
A spot in the WTC final, which is scheduled to take place at The Oval in June 2023, would be secured with a victory over the Test team ranked No. 1. If India loses or draws the fourth Test in Ahmedabad, they will need Sri Lanka to do the same in one of their two away games against New Zealand.
Adding Kuldeep would completely alter the bowling attack’s composition, which would be a risky gamble given the magnitude of the competition.
Mohammad Shami is likely to return to the Men in Blue’s starting lineup in order to return to their strongest starting lineup against Steve Smith and Co.
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