India showcases latest spin sensation | Sunday Observer

India showcases latest spin sensation

28 February, 2021
Axar Patel talks with Virat Kohli
Axar Patel talks with Virat Kohli

India unveiled the latest spin hero from its production line when Axar Patel claimed 11 wickets in the lightning fast two-day Test win over England.

The 27-year-old started off his cricket life as a fast bowler and only got his place in this crucial series because of an injury to star spinner Ravindra Jadeja.

Captain Virat Kohli said England may have been “relieved” when Jadeja was injured.

“But then this guy comes in. Bowls it quicker and from a bigger height as well. It is a tribute to his hard work, his accuracy,” said Kohli. “It is impossible to sweep him, impossible to defend him all day. If the wicket gives him anything he is just a lethal bowler.”

While England’s batsmen may have been poor, Patel played the central role in bowling them out for 112 and 81 in the day-night third Test in Ahmedabad.

The batsmen expected the ball to turn on the devilish track, but it kept going straight -- 28 of the wickets to fall went to spinners and 21 were straight balls. Patel even put Ravichandran Ashwin in the shade, even though the senior spinner’s seven wickets took him past 400 in Tests.

“My strength is always about bowling wicket-to-wicket,” Patel said after being named man of the match.

“It’s about playing on the mindset of the batsmen. Strangle them for runs and then get them make the mistakes. Bowling more and more dot balls is my strength.”