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News

India call up Washington to replace Axar for the Asia Cup final

The BCCI said that Axar had suffered a left quadriceps strain while playing against Bangladesh on Friday

Shashank Kishore
Shashank Kishore
16-Sep-2023
Washington Sundar bowls during training, Ireland vs India, Dublin, August 17, 2023

Washington Sundar was part of India's squad that played a T20I series in Ireland  •  Sportsfile via Getty Images

Washington Sundar will link up with India's Asia Cup squad in Colombo ahead of Sunday's final against Sri Lanka with Axar Patel out injured.
The BCCI said that Axar had suffered a left quadriceps strain while playing against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup on Friday. The physio was seen taping his leg while he was batting towards the closing stages of that game.
Axar has some swelling on his forearm as well after being hit by a throw from a fielder. ESPNcricinfo understands there is no fracture. He also bruised his wrist during a full-stretch dive into the crease while batting. Axar continued to bat despite the bruising and needed some spraying on the affected area. He made a valiant 38-ball 42 in India's chase of 266. Eventually, India fell six short.
Washington was to be part of a conditioning camp called by the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for India's Asian Games-bound squad. It's likely he will rejoin the group following the conclusion of the Asia Cup, if Axar is cleared to play in the three ODIs to follow against Australia from September 22.
India's current squad lacks an offspinner, which is one of the areas the team management hopes can be compensated by the presence of two left-arm spinning allrounders in Axar and Ravindra Jadeja. Kuldeep Yadav, meanwhile, is the only specialist spinner in India's squad of 15.
ESPNcricinfo understands Washington's name had been deliberated seriously to be part of India's World Cup squad, but he eventually lost out with India preferring to go in with an extra back-up batter in Suryakumar Yadav despite both KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer being named in the squad. India can however make changes to that squad without an ICC clearance until September 28.
Washington, who was out for three months due to a hamstring injury, was most-recently part of India's second-rung squad that played three T20Is in Ireland last month. Prior to that, he featured for South Zone in their victorious Deodhar Trophy (50-overs) and Duleep Trophy (first-class) campaigns.

Changes to India's squads for the Asian Games as well

Fast bowlers Akash Deep and Pooja Vastrakar have been called into India's men's and women's T20 teams due to play in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. Deep replaced Shivam Mavi who is down with a back injury and Vastrakar replaced Anjali Sarvani who is nursing a knee injury. The women's competition begins first on September 19 followed by the men's on September 28. Ruturaj Gaikwad leads a second-string India men's side given the first-choice players will be building up for the home World Cup which starts on October 5. The India women's team appears close to full strength and is captained by Harmanpreet Kaur

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo