Axar Patel
Axar Patel is currently 14th in the ICC ODI bowling rankingsAFP/Getty Images

India spin bowler Axar Patel has agreed a deal to play six English County Championship matches for Durham.

Patel, 24, will make his debut against Glamorgan on August 19, Durham confirmed in a statement.

He will be available for selection for Durham's final six fixtures of the county season, which include games against Northamptonshire, Sussex, Middlesex, Leicester, and Warwickshire.

Patel has played 38 one-day internationals and 11 Twenty20 internationals for India and is currently competing in the Indian Premier League with Kings XI Punjab. He is currently 14th in the ICC ODI bowling rankings.

The announcement comes after Yorkshire re-signed Cheteshwar Pujara and India fast bowler Ishant Sharma agreed a deal to play for Sussex.

Virat Kohli is also reported to be keen on playing county cricket in a bid to prepare for India's five-match Test series against England later this year, with Surrey seen as his likeliest destination.

Surrey's director of cricket, Alec Stewart, admitted last month that he was interested in signing Kohli for the county side.

"I did inquire a while back about Kohli when it appeared to be a possible option for him to play county cricket but was told by the BCCI that India were playing Ireland in T20s and an inaugural Test versus Afghanistan in June," Stewart told the Guardian.

"If he does now become available we would look at it again to see if it could potentially work around our current overseas arrangements."

The news has drawn opposition from some quarters, however, with former England bowler Bob Willis saying it was "nonsense" that county teams could potentially allow an overseas player to play himself into form before a series against England.

"I can't stand overseas players in county cricket," the former England cricketer told Sky Sports.

"It doesn't benefit the players stranded in the second eleven year on year and the youngsters. The only way to improve our Test team is to have as many England-qualified players playing in the County Championship as possible.

"Instead, they're going to pay Kohli, presumably, five figures a match so he can hone his skills in English conditions before a Test series. It's a nonsense."