Axar Patel has picked up 18 wickets in his first two Tests.(BCCI)
Axar Patel has picked up 18 wickets in his first two Tests.(BCCI)

'Don't worry about that one': VVS Laxman's advice to England about tackling Axar Patel

  • India vs England: Laxman, one of the best batsmen against spin of all time, explained what England are doing wrong against Axar and how they can play the left-arm spinner better.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 10:48 AM IST

If R Ashwin wasn't a big enough threat heading into the Test series for England, his fellow spinner Axar Patel has emerged to become a bigger thorn in the eyes of the English batsmen. Making his debut in Chennai, Axar had a dream start to his Test career, when he took a five-wicket-haul – becoming the sixth India spinner to do so – as India inflicted a massive 317-run win over England.

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From there, Axar has only gone from strength to strength. In the third Test at Ahmedabad – the Day/Night fixture – the left-arm spinner wrecked England's batting, picking up 6/38 and 5/32 – his match haul of 11 wickets helping India bundle out England for 112 and 81 in two innings. A little over six years after he made his India debut in limited over, Axar has started his Test career in an emphatic fashion and former India batsman VVS Laxman provided insights into it.

"Swanny (Graeme Swann) rightly mentioned that the entire focus for English batsmen after the last Test match was to play against spinners. Ashwin is a legendary spinner getting to 400 Test wickets but Axar has had a dream start to his international career. You have to also recognize that he's an experienced First-Class cricketer," Laxman said on Star Sports prior to the start of the fourth Test of the series.

Also Read | India vs England, 4th Test: All you need to know about the Ahmedabad pitch

Laxman, one of the best batsmen against spin of all time, explained what England are doing wrong against Axar and how they can tackle the left-arm spinner better. A few days ago, in an interview with The Observer, Laxman got into the intricacies of batting against spin and produced a masterclass in batting. If England have managed to listen to Laxman deciphering Axar's bowling, they sure could benefit.

"I think the best way you play Axar Patel is not to play for the turning ball but play for the ones that is coming in. His line and length have been immaculate and the trajectory with which he's bowling – flatter and quicker, I'd say play for the straight ball, don't worry about that one which turns," Laxman added.

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