Kanpur Test | Cricket

Ind vs NZ 1st Test | We were rewarded today for our persistence: Axar Patel

Axar Patel: ‘It does seem like you are living a dream within a dream’   | Photo Credit: AP

As a Test cricketer, Axar Patel seems to be in a hurry to make up for lost time.

Since making his Test debut against England this February, Axar has taken five wickets in an innings five times. Armed with 32 Test wickets midway through his fourth Test, the left-arm spinner is making Test cricket look easy.

After all, between Axar’s first and fifth wickets on Saturday, his bowling figures read 10.1-2-20-5. That too, on a pitch far less conducive to spin than the ones in Chennai and Ahmedabad, where he played against England.

“It does seem like you are living a dream within a dream. But on Friday, after India went wicket-less for two sessions and New Zealand scored in excess of 129 without loss, Test cricket did not look easy at all,” explained Axar while taking questions after his 5 for 62 on Saturday.

“The focus was on consistently bowling good lines and keeping the right length to get wickets. Today, in the last two sessions, we were rewarded for our persistence shown in the previous three sessions.”

On what made him appear more effective than seniors like R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja on this day, Axar said, “As compared to yesterday, I was focussing more on bowling from the edge of the crease to create a certain angle. I think the Kiwis found that difficult to deal with."

Has the behaviour of the pitch changed since the match began?

“A lot. It is slowing down further. The odd ball is either spinning more or keeping low. No doubt, it will be challenging to bat, but if you play the ball on its merit, runs will come. Patience will play a role.”

Asked about substitute K.S. Bharat’s wicket-keeping skills today, Axar said, “It is not easy for anyone to be told to take the field less than 10 minutes from the start of the day’s play. After Wriddhiman Saha sprained his neck while warming up this morning, Bharat did a fairly good job of ball-collection, catching and stumping. With experience, he will surely get better.”

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 10:19:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/ind-vs-nz-1st-test-we-were-rewarded-today-for-our-persistence-axar-patel/article37724579.ece

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