Axar Patel grabs maiden five-for on debut, joins Ashwin and Shami in elite list
- India vs England: A statistical look at Axar Patel's 5/60 on debut against England.
Axar Patel got his Test career off to a flying start by becoming the ninth India bowler to pick up a five-wicket-haul on debut. Axar, who became India's 302nd Test cricketer when he received his Test cap from captain Virat Kohli on Saturday, picked up 5/60, helping India bundle out England for 164 in the second innings, chasing 482 to win.
With that, Axar became the sixth India spinner to take a five-for on debut after VV Kumar, Dilip Doshi, Narendra Hirwani, R Ashwin and Amit Mishra. Axar's 5/60 is also the seventh best bowling figure by an India bowler in an innings. His match-haul of 100/7 is the eighth best by a debut bowler for India.
"It was a good experience, to get a five-wicket haul on debut is special. As Kuldeep said, there was much happening on the pitch. It was about varying your speed and I just kept doing it. Forced the batsman to make mistakes. On the first day itself, it was turning. So, we bowled tight lines and got the rewards," Axar said after the end of the match on Tuesday.
Another incredible stat regarding Axar is that he is only the second left-arm spinner to take a five-wicket haul on Test debut against England. Overall, he is the third to do so after Australia’s Jack Saunders did it in 1902 and Alf Valentine of the West Indies in the year 1950.
Axar's efforts were lauded by captain Kohli, who wished for the left-arm spinner to continue the good work in the matches to come. "It is a very, very special moment for Axar. He would've played the first game as well if he didn't have that niggle. He was keen to step on, and if you get that kind of pitch, he was all smiles and couldn't wait to get the ball in his hands. Hope he builds on from here, he has an important couple of games ahead," Kohli said during the presentation ceremony.