The Indian team management has released Kuldeep from the squad.
Axar had been recovering from a shin injury that had forced him to miss the South Africa tour and the T20 series against West Indies. He had also tested positive for COVID-19 recently.
“Axar was the first choice but had to undergo recovery and hence Kuldeep was a backup,” a BCCI source told PTI.
“Now Axar is fit and back so Kuldeep has been released,” the source added.
At the time of announcing the squad for the two-Test series against Sri Lanka, the BCCI had said Axar was expected to be fit for the second game.
Kuldeep last played a Test in February 2021.
India won the first Test against Sri Lanka by an innings and 222 runs.