Shoaib Akhtar has opined that Axar Patel might become the fastest cricketer to take a hundred wickets in Tests, provided conditions suit him.
Replacing an injured Ravindra Jadeja was no easy task, but Axar Patel grabbed the opportunity with both hands in his debut series. He took 27 wickets in three Tests at an astonishing average of 10.59.
Speaking on his YouTube Channel, Shoaib Akhtar hailed Axar Patel and called the left-arm spinner an intelligent bowler.
"Not only did he (Axar Patel) get a suitable wicket to bowl on, but he is an intelligent bowler too. He wouldn’t have given a chance to the English players when the control was in his hands, and that is what he did. If he keeps getting a few series like this, he might just become the fastest bowler to 100 wickets. Having said that, England should have played him better,” Akhtar said.
England bowler George Lohmann, who made his Test debut in 1886, holds the record for reaching 100 Test wickets in the lowest number of matches. He achieved the feat in just 16 Tests.
With his 27-wicket return, Axar Patel broke Ajantha Mendis' record (26) of the most wickets picked in a debut series (maximum of three Tests). The 27-year-old also showcased his batting prowess, scoring 43 runs in the first innings of the fourth Test.
"England have got a reality check in India" - Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar added that a humiliating series loss like this would hurt England, where India won the last three Tests with ease. The former speedster also said that English players need to learn the art of playing spin in sub-continental conditions.
"It was an embarrassing defeat for the England team, and they have got a reality check in India. But they need to now learn the art of playing spin in the sub-continent well. Not sure, how are they going to lift themselves up from this humiliating defeat and motivate themselves to play better,” Akhtar said.
Following their comfortable series win over England, India have booked their place in the ICC World Test Championship final, where they will square off against New Zealand at Lord's on June 18.