England's captain Joe Root reacts during a training session ahead of the fourth test cricket match between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.(AP)
England's captain Joe Root reacts during a training session ahead of the fourth test cricket match between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.(AP)

‘He has exploited the surfaces really well’: Joe Root reveals game plan to tackle Axar Patel in 4th Test

  • Axar has been experiencing a memorable series so far as he has recorded 18 wickets from two matches.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 07:41 AM IST

England Test skipper Joe Root on Wednesday revealed that his side never underestimated Axar Patel and it was just a case of the left-arm off-spinner being good enough to exploit the conditions at the Narendra Modi Stadium superbly.

Axar has been experiencing a memorable series so far as he has recorded 18 wickets from two matches. In the third Test, the left-arm spinner got back with 11 wickets and he was declared Man of the Match for his performance.

“I definitely do not think that we underestimated Axar Patel. I think he has exploited the surfaces really well; he has managed to beat both edges of the bat. For any spinner, it is exactly what you are trying to do, every spinner is trying to keep all the modes of dismissals in play. I think he has done that very well; we have to make sure that we are covering our stumps and one goes past the outside edge, we just have to accept that,” said Root during the virtual press conference on Wednesday.

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“We have got to put pressure back on the bowler, if we do get balls to score off, we have to make sure that we put them away. Similarly, if we get the opportunity to get off strike, we have to do that. It is trusting the basics of the game and it is the most important thing for a team. We have that confidence in our team,” he added.

The day-night Test in Ahmedabad witnessed both India and England batsmen failing to shine and getting out to balls that did not turn but skidded through. Moreover, Root claimed a five-wicket haul and returned with the figures of 5-8. However, India managed to thump the visitors by 10 wickets and took an unassailable 2-1 lead.

The fourth Test is decisive for India as they need either a draw or a win to make it to the ICC World Test Championship final at Lord’s. If England win, India’s chances will be shattered and Australia will reach the final and play against New Zealand.

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