'He's aware of his strength': Sunil Gavaskar explains how Axar Patel excelled with a 6-for in Motera on Day 1

Published on Feb 25, 2021 12:16 PM IST

Axar also became the first bowler to bag a five-wicket haul at the revamped stadium in Ahmedabad. It is his second five-for in just his second Test for Team India.

India's Axar Patel celebrates a wicket with teammates during the 4th day of the second cricket test match between India and England, at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.(PTI)
India's Axar Patel celebrates a wicket with teammates during the 4th day of the second cricket test match between India and England, at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.(PTI)
By, New Delhi

All-rounder Axar Patel on Wednesday rocked England with his six-wicket haul in the third Test at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Playing in front of his home crowd, the left-arm off-spinner returned with the figures of 6 for 38 to help India bowl out Joe Root’s England for a paltry 112.

Axar also became the first bowler to bag a five-wicket haul at the revamped stadium in Ahmedabad. It is his second five-for in just his second Test for Team India.

Impressed with the bowling show, former Indian captain and batting legend Sunil Gavaskar stated that Axar is well aware of his strength which helped him trouble the English batsmen.

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“He [Axar] recognised the fact that the odd ball is turning which is creating a doubt in the batsman’s mind. So, he just kept bowling the same line and same length. So, that’s the best part of his bowling. He knows that this is his strength and he bowls to his strength,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.

“Sometimes bowlers try to change the way they have bowled in first-class cricket which has got them to the Test level. They try and adapt the thing that how they need to bowl at the Test level. And they eventually lose what has brought to the Test team. Axar hasn’t tried to do that,” he added.

Gavaskar was of the opinion that with experience, Axar will develop variations in his bowling but as of now, the left-arm off-spinner needs to back his strength.

“With experience, with more Test matches that he plays, he will obviously add a little more variety. Right now, at his second Test, his strength is his accuracy and that is what he needs to keep doing,” Gavaskar further said.

The spin combination of left-armer Patel and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin exploited the turning Motera pitch, folding England's first innings in just 48.4 overs after the visitors opted to bat.

At stumps, India were 99 for 3 from 33 overs with Rohit batting on 57 off 82 balls. Ajinkya Rahane (1) was giving him company following skipper Virat Kohli's dismissal in the last over of the day.

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