Axar Patel celebrates the dismissal of Zak Crawley in Ahmedabad. (ANI Photo/BCCI Twitter)
wouldn't have been a cricketer, a champion dart thrower would've been an apt alternative. The 27-year-old's ability to send the ball right where it needs to land, especially with some great variations in pace, is turning him into a very special asset right now.
Days after he picked up an impressive five-wicket haul in the second Test at Chennai, he followed it up with a 6-38 in Ahmedabad on Wednesday, running through
's top and middle-order with precision and control.
There was turn available on the pitch and there was some bit of pace too. Patel, who was brought in early after the pace bowlers were finding it difficult to land their foot because of some unevenness around the crease and the ball skidding away, made use of the pitch and turn to make England pay for winning the toss.
Dreams do come true 🇮🇳 #grateful @GCAMotera @BCCI https://t.co/WQ1PEO23TC— Akshar Patel (@akshar2026) 1614189203000
"The ball was skidding a lot. So, adding pace to it helped," he said after the day's play.
01:553rd Test, Day 1: Axar, Rohit put India on top against England in pink-ball Test
Having begun his career as a pacer and then switching to spin, because of a knee injury years ago, Patel has never let go of his ability to whip the red ball at will. The pink ball became that much easier, given the freshly laid wicket and the paint and texture on the ball that allowed it to zip in faster.
"I've learnt it over a period of time," he said, talking about the arm-ball he's been using with distinction. "I had worked a bit on it with Venkat sir," he added, referring to spin-bowling coach M Venkataramana. Bowling line and length has time and again worked for Patel, irrespective of the format. "That's what I prefer to do (bowl line and length) when the ball starts skidding," he insisted.
That's precisely what he did in Chennai and here once again.
In Pics: Axar, Rohit put India on top against England in pink-ball Test
Spinner Axar Patel claimed a career-best 6-38 as India bundled out England for 112 on the opening day to put themselves in the box seat in the day-night third Test in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. (BCCI Photo)