Axar Patel, the left-arm spinner who came into the India Test side as a replacement for Ravindra Jadeja, had a dream debut series against England as he scalped 27 wickets in the three matches he played.
Axar Patel, who had missed the first Test which India lost by 227 runs due to an injury, took a five-wicket haul in the second innings of the second Test where the hosts registered a 317-run win at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Axar Patel Thinks Confidence Helped Him
The left-arm spinner then spun a web and bagged two five-wicket hauls in the third Test, thus helping India register a 10-wicket win inside two days. And with a five-for in the second innings of the fourth Test, the left-arm spinner took his series tally to 27 wickets and equalled Dilip Doshi’s record of most wickets (27) in a debut Test series for India. While Dilip Doshi had taken the 27 wickets in six matches, Axar Patel achieved the feat in just three games.
“I think confidence helped me. I got wickets in the first game and kept on carrying the confidence,” said Axar after the culmination of the fourth and final Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium here which India won by an innings and 25 runs to seal their spot in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final.
“I only bowled faster ones more often in the previous games but here we needed to vary our pace,” he added while talking about the changes he made to his bowling as compared to the previous games of the series.
With a five-for in the second innings of the fourth Test, Axar Patel equaled Dilip Doshi’s record of most wickets (27) in a debut Test series for India. While Dilip Doshi had taken the 27 wickets in six matches, Axar Patel achieved the feat in just three games.
Axar Patel Didn’t Have Enough Time To Talk To Washington Sundar
On the third day of the 4thb and final Test, the 27-year-old showed his prowess with the bat as well as he scored a valuable 43 and shared a significant 100-plus run stand with Washington Sundar (96 not out) as India scored 365 in their first essay, obtaining a 160-run lead which proved enough for them to win the match as they bundled the visitors for just 135.
India eventually won the match by an innings and 25 runs and qualified for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in June.
“When I and Washington were batting, we thought the pace variation wasn’t there. When I got back after being run-out, I didn’t have enough time to talk to Washington as we were bowled out,” he said while talking about his partnership with Sundar.
Moreover, 27 wickets were taken by Axar Patel in his first 3 Test matches, which is the joint third-highest along with Rodney Hogg. Only Narendra Hirwani (31) and Charles Turner (29) took more wickets in their first 3 Test matches.
4 five-wicket hauls were claimed by Axar Patel in this series, which is the joint highest in a Test series by an Indian bowler along with four others. Bhagwat Chandrasekhar is the only other player to do it against England.
The 27-year-old broke Ajantha Mendis‘ record for most wickets in the debut series in Test cricket. The Sri Lankan spinner took 26 wickets against India in 2008. Axar Patel has taken 27 wickets against England in three matches.