Axar Patel
India's Axar Patel bats against Bangladesh during the Asia Cup 2023 in Colombo on Friday (September 15). Photo: X/Patel

Axar likely to miss 2 ODIs against Australia; Shreyas 99% fit, says Rohit

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Colombo, Sept 17 (PTI) India captain Rohit Sharma on Friday said left-arm spinner Axar Patel is likely to miss the first two ODIs against Australia next week while middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer is "99 percent" match-fit.

Axar had suffered a left quadriceps strain during the inconsequential Super 4 match against Bangladesh on Friday and was ruled out of the Asia Cup. Washington Sundar was drafted in as Axar’s replacement in India’s Asia Cup squad.

The PTI had reported on Saturday that Axar will be out of Australia series and could also be a doubtful starter for the World Cup. The worrying part is that MRI scans have revealed that its a hamstring tear.

"Axar had a small tear. It looks like maybe it will take a week or 10 days (to heal), I don’t know. We have to see how that injury progresses. Some guys recover quickly, and I hope that’s the case with him," skipper Rohit didn't seem too confident about the speed of recovery for the Gujarat all-rounder.

"I am not sure whether he will be able to play the first two games against Australia at home. But we will wait and see," said Rohit, who didn't want to fully commit.

Iyer had suffered back spasm ahead of India's Super 4 game against Pakistan, and since then he did not take part in the Asia Cup.

Iyer had batted in the nets and also engaged in some fielding drills over the last couple of days.

Rohit said Shreyas did not tick off certain parameters set for him, hence he was not included in the playing 11 for the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka.

"Shreyas was not available for this game because certain parameters were kept for him to tick off. I think today, he completed most of it. I should say he is alright 99 percent as of now." "But he looks good, he batted and fielded for long hours, and he was on the ground long before we came to the ground. I don't think it is a worry for us," said Rohit.

Even though Washington was included in the India squad as replacement for Axar, Rohit said even veteran spinner R Ashwin is very much within the India's scheme of things as a spin bowling all-rounder.

"As a spinner-all-rounder, Ashwin is in the line. I have been talking to him on the phone. The injury happened to Axar at the last minute. Washington was available, so he had to come and perform the role for us," said Rohit.

"He (Washington) was cricket-fit because he was part of the Asian Games camp (in Bengaluru). I have been very clear with players about their roles. Everyone is in the loop," he added.

However if one reads between the lines, if the team management wanted Ashwin that badly, he could have been summoned on a SOS basis with a less than an hour's flight from Chennai to Colombo.

But it will be very surprising if Ashwin makes the cut, not having played any ODI for more than a year. PTI UNG KHS KHS

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)
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