India have made arrangements to fly in off-spinning all-rounder Washington Sundar ahead of the Asia Cup 2023 final as a cover for Axar Patel. Axar suffered a couple of injuries while batting against Bangladesh on Friday.
According to Cricbuzz, Axar can miss the final against Sri Lanka on Sunday. Sundar was with the Indian squad for the Asian Games in Bengaluru and will re-join it after the Asia Cup final. Men’s cricket in the Asian Games, which will be hosted by China, will begin on September 27 with the Gold Medal match on October 7.
Axar scored a fighting 42 in the second innings against Bangladesh while chasing 266 on a tricky surface at the R. Premadasa Stadium.
He looked to have hurt his right wrist in the 45th over while attempting to return to his crease to avoid a stumping.
Then, in the next over, a throw from the boundary line hit him flush on the left wrist when he was trying to take a single. The physio came out and applied the pain-relief spray on his hands on both occasions.
A confirmation of the seriousness of his injury is awaited from the BCCI. However, India calling for an emergency cover for their third spinner suggests that they might be expecting another spin-friendly wicket and want to play all three of Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar/Sundar in the final.
This means that Shardul Thakur could sit out despite picking three wickets against Bangladesh.
Washington Sundar’s ODI record
Sundar has played 16 ODIs for India, the last one being in February 2022. He has 16 wickets to his name with a bowling average of 27.19 and 233 runs at 29.13.
Like Axar, he can bat anywhere in the batting order and has the technical nous to finish the innings as well as build from the middle order.