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"I knew Joe Root would find it difficult to sweep me" - Axar Patel

Axar Patel dismissed Joe Root in both innings of the second Test
Axar Patel dismissed Joe Root in both innings of the second Test
Kartik Iyer
ANALYST
Modified 17 Feb 2021
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Axar Patel has disclosed he was confident that Joe Root and the other England batsmen would find it hard to play the sweep shot against him.

The left-arm spinner snared seven wickets, including a 5-wicket haul in the second innings, on his Test debut in Chennai. He also got the prized scalp of Joe Root in both innings of the Test match.

During a post-match interview with Star Sports, Axar Patel was asked about his strategy while bowling to Root and the other visiting batsmen.

He responded that he was aware of the England captain's proficiency in playing the sweep shot, but was confident that it would not be an easy stroke to play against him.

"I saw in the first match that he [Root] was playing a lot of sweeps and reverse sweeps. The pace with which I bowl, I knew he would find it difficult to sweep me. If he misses his shot, I have a chance to get him LBW or bowled or there could be a chance of getting a top edge," said Patel.

The lanky spinner pointed out that his only plan was to bowl the right lines and lengths, and let the wicket do the rest for him.

"So, my simple plan was that I will bowl stump to stump. I didn't have to do much because of the help from the wicket. I knew that if I keep bowling the good line and lengths, the batsmen will not be able to play me easily," added Axar Patel.

"My strength is that I bowl continuously at one spot" - Axar Patel

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Axar Patel did not err in line or length throughout the Test match [P/C: BCCI]
Axar Patel did not err in line or length throughout the Test match [P/C: BCCI]

Axar Patel claimed that the experience of bowling with the red ball in domestic cricket as well in the county circuit had made it easier for him on his Test debut.

"When I play Ranji Trophy and India A and in between I played county cricket as well, it is very important to bowl at one spot. So that experience helped me in my debut and my strength is that I bowl continuously at one spot," said Patel.
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The Gujarat left-arm spinner concluded by saying that getting a five-wicket haul on his debut is a shot in the arm for him and that he will carry that confidence into the next match at Motera, which is his home ground.

"When you get five wickets on your debut along with the wicket of the in-form captain of the opposition team, there cannot be a bigger confidence booster than that. We won the match as well, so we will go into my home ground with greater energy and I will show that confidence in the next match," signed off Axar Patel.

The third Test between India and England will be a day-night affair at the newly built Motera, which is the world's largest cricket stadium. It will be interesting to see if Axar Patel gets a chance to play on his home ground, as the Indian team might opt to go for a pace-heavy attack for the pink-ball encounter.


Published 16 Feb 2021, 15:19 IST
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