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Axar Patel or Kuldeep Yadav? Aakash Chopra picks India XI for 1st England Test

Axar Patel or Kuldeep Yadav? Aakash Chopra picks India XI for 1st England Test

The bowling department faces less uncertainty, with Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj expected to spearhead the pace attack. Mukesh Kumar and Avesh Khan will provide backup and options based on specific conditions.

The battle for India’s third spinner slot for the first Test against England is heating up, but former cricketer Aakash Chopra has thrown his weight behind Axar Patel, despite Kuldeep Yadav undeniable wicket-taking prowess.

With Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja already locked in for the Hyderabad showdown, the remaining spot boils down to a duel between the two left-armers. While Chopra acknowledges Kuldeep’s potential to claim scalps, he believes Axar Patel all-round abilities give him the edge.

“Axar Patel deserves to be in the playing XI,” Aakash Chopra declared in his recent YouTube video. “He bats very well, especially in Indian conditions, which allows us to play a specialist wicketkeeper like KS Bharat without worrying about the lower order’s batting.”

The absence of a regular keeper in the form of Virat Kohli, who is taking a break for personal reasons, opens up intriguing possibilities for the batting order. Aakash Chopra envisions KL Rahul, freed from wicketkeeping duties, stepping up to fill Kohli’s vacant No. 4 position.

“Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, and Shreyas Iyer all have a chance to start in Kohli’s absence,” Chopra explains. “With Yashasvi Jaiswal likely to open with Rohit Sharma, we could finally see all three of them bat together, whether at No. 3, 4, and 5, or in any other combination.”

Axar Patel in India bowling combination

The bowling department faces less uncertainty, with Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj expected to spearhead the pace attack. Mukesh Kumar and Avesh Khan will provide backup and options based on specific conditions.

With the stage set for a thrilling series opener, Axar Patel inclusion would add another layer of intrigue to India’s spin attack. His batting prowess alongside Jadeja and Ashwin’s established skills could prove crucial in navigating the turning pitches of Hyderabad.

However, one shouldn’t underestimate Kuldeep Yadav hunger for wickets. His ability to strike gold against a confident England batting lineup could force the team to reconsider their strategy. Ultimately, the captain’s call will depend on their assessment of the pitch and the specific threats posed by the opposition.

One thing is certain: the battle for spin supremacy in the first Test promises to be a captivating showdown, with both Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav eager to make their mark on the big stage.

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