Off-spinner Akshay Wakhare made merry on the fourth day of the Duleep Trophy final as he tumbled India Green with a fifer to lead India Red to an innings and 38-run victory. It took just 5.5 overs for the off-spinner to flatten India Green’s middle-order.
Wakhare, who plays for Vidarbha in domestic cricket, seemed to have impressed India great Harbhajan Singh with his bowing as he backed Wakhare to get a Test call-up soon.
“Akshay Wakhare consistent performer with the ball from last couple of years in 1st class cricket back to back Ranji trophy champion last two years.Great spell yesterday 5 for 13 against india green.winning another championship for his team.way to go.Indian test squad calling,” Harbhajan wrote on twitter.
Akshay wakhare consistent performer with the ball from last couple of years in 1st class cricket back to back Ranji trophy champion last two years.Great spell yesterday 5 for 13 against india green.winning another championship for his team.way to go.Indian test squad calling ?? pic.twitter.com/RcSPcJefcL
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) September 8, 2019
While Wakhare did wonders in the Duleep Trophy final, a Test call-up could be tough for him as India already have three spinners in the longest format. In fact, R Ashwin, the most experienced of them all, did not get a chance in West Indies that tells about the competition in the Indian team.
Along with Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav also warmed the bench in both the Test matches despite being tipped to be team India’s lead spinner in the longest format by head coach Ravi Shastri few months back.
Wakhare scalped 34 wickets for Vidarbha’s Ranji Trophy win in 2018/19. Riding on his performances, he made it to the Duleep Trophy squad. He had also taken a fifer against India Green in the league stage match and ended the tournament as the highest wicket-taker with 14 scalps in total.
An experienced campaigner, Wakhare has played 75 first-class matches in which he has 263 wickets. In 40 List A matches, he has 46 wickets.
On Saturday, it looked that the final might go to the fifth day. Losing early wickets cost India Green dearly and later on, Wakhare spun a spin web to topple India Green’s middle-order. India Green could just bat for 39.5 overs in which they managed 119 runs.
Jaydev Unadkat, who scalped a four-fer in the first innings, got one wicket while Avesh Khan bagged a three-fer in India Red’s win.