‘It didn’t happen in Chennai’: Axar Patel reveals what helped him picking up 6 wickets against England
It was his second five-for in just his second Test for Team India. By doing so, the 27-year-old spinner also became only the third Indian bowler to take a 5-wicket haul in his first two matches.
Indian left-arm spin all-rounder Axar Patel had a moment to cherish on Wednesday when he took the field against England in the third Test at the Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad. Playing in front of his home crowd, Axar excelled with the ball as he picked up a six-wicket haul to help India bundle Joe Root & Co for 112 on the first day of the play.
It was his second five-fer in just his second Test for Team India. By doing so, the 27-year-old spinner also became only the third Indian bowler to take a 5-wicket haul in his first two matches.
After having a great day with the ball, Axar spoke about his game plan after the stumps on the first day of the third Test. During post-match presentation, the Ahmedabad cricketer.
“When things are going for you, you need to capitalise. My aim is to keep wicket to wicket and use the help on offer. In Chennai, the ball wasn't skidding. But here it is and there are more LBWs. 85-90kph is an optimum speed,” said Axar.
“With a lot of T20 cricket happening, the effects are there in Tests as well with batsmen being more aggressive. That's why keeping a tight line and pushing it through quicker is being more successful. If the batsman is defending well, then you go on the back foot in your mind. But if he's not defending well and going for sweeps and reverse-sweeps you feel there's a chance coming,” he added.
Later, in the virtual press-conference, Axar said that he didn’t expect to pick up six wickets but was confident about his line and length which ultimately paid off.
“I didn’t expect to take six wickets on the opening day because didn’t know whether we would be bowling or batting on the first day. But I was prepared as I had taken five wickets in the last too. And was bowling well so I was prepared to bowl with the pink ball as well. Didn’t know about what pink-ball brings to the table but had confidence in my line and length and it paid off,” Axar said.
India ended the first day of the pink-ball Test against England in the driver's seat as Rohit Sharma slammed a half-century to take the hosts at 99/3. India is trailing by 13 runs in the first innings with seven wickets in hand.