Team India left-arm spinner Axar Patel has been ruled out of the first Test against England, after he complained of knee pain. Shahbaz Nadeem and Rahul Chahar have been added to the squad as cover for Patel.
According to a BCCI release, Patel complained of pain in his left knee during the team's optional practice session on Thursday (February 4).
The spinner was in line to make his Test debut in the first match of the series against England, after Indian captain Virat Kohli had hinted that Patel could be crucial to the side's plans in the absence of Ravindra Jadeja, who is also out with injury.
India's injury crisis didn't seem to end during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia last month, when the side fielded a rookie pace attack in the deciding Test at Brisbane. None of the first-choice bowlers were fit to play in the game, but India defied all odds to beat Australia and win the series.
In the absence of Patel, India's spin options now include Kuldeep Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar, with the new arrivals of Shahbaz Nadeem and Rahul Chahar as cover for the outgoing 27-year-old.
The Test series between India and England sees the return of international cricket in India for the first time since the action came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first two Tests take place in Chennai, while the revamped Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad plays host to the remaining two games of the series.
India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishab Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasiprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha, Shardul Thakur, Shahbaz Nadeem, Rahul Chahar