A lot will be expected of Ravindra Jadeja in India’s two-match Test series against New Zealand.© AFP
India are set to take on New Zealand in a two-match Test series starting on Thursday in Kanpur. The two sides had last clashed in the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final earlier this year, which New Zealand won by eight wickets. Playing on home turf, India will begin the series as favourites and will look to exact some form of revenge for the WTC final loss. With regular captain Virat Kohli absent for the opening Test, Ajinkya Rahane will be leading the team in Kanpur. Kohli will return to lead the team in the second Test.
Spin could play a key factor in the two-match Test series and a lot will be expected from the experienced duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Left-arm off spinner Axar Patel is also in the Indian squad and will hope to be a part of the playing XI in Kanpur.
According to former Pakistan captain Salman Butt, however, Axar is currently not a like-to-like replacement for Jadeja.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Butt remarked that Axar and Jadeja are currently not in the “same league”. He, however, did add that Axar will eventually become a regular in India’s Test team.
“Axar Patel is very talented but Ravindra Jadeja is a complete player, be it in batting, bowling or fielding. He is an outstanding team man. When one player goes, his replacement comes; so in future, this is what you have. If you don’t have Jadeja, then you have Axar Patel,” Butt said.
“But at the moment, if you think that replacement is ready and he can take Jadeja’s place, I don’t think they are in the same league. He (Axar) is very talented and will take that place in the future, but Jadeja is the better option I think,” he added.
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