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How Axar Patel pre-planned Joe Root’s wicket while watching the first Test

Axar Patel with Virat Kohli. Pic: BCCI
Axar Patel with Virat Kohli. Pic: BCCI
Modified 14 Feb 2021

Although Joe Root smashed 218 in the first Test against India in Chennai, left-arm Axar Patel has revealed that he was confident of getting the wicket of the in-form England captain.

Axar Patel made a memorable Test debut by dismissing the first Test double centurion for only six in the England first innings. The left-armer added the scalp of Moeen Ali to finish with figures of 2 for 40 as England were rolled over for 134 in response to India’s first-innings total of 329.

During an interaction with Cheteshwar Pujara, Axar Patel explained how he plotted Root’s downfall. In a video posted on the BCCI website, the left-arm spinner told Pujara:

“When I was watching the first Test, I observed that Joe Root was playing a lot of sweeps and reverse sweeps. And I knew, with my speed, it would be difficult (to sweep me). So I had thoughts that my first Test wicket should be of Root."

Axar Patel further added in this regard:

"I had planned that if he would sweep, I would trap him lbw and so on. And when he top-edged that sweep, I was really happy. You can see from my reaction. After all, he was someone who had scored a double hundred in the first Test."

Got a bit emotional on getting Test cap: Axar Patel

Axar Patel added that he did get emotional on being handed the Test cap. He told Pujara in this regard:

“No words can describe the feeling of playing Test cricket for India. Feeling very nice on getting my Test cap. I got a bit emotional at that moment. When any player starts playing the game, his ultimate aim is to play for the country, Test cricket in particular. Playing Tests for India is a big thing."

The Gujarat player admitted that being an experienced domestic cricketer and having played a lot for India A has helped him a lot.

“At home, you play on surfaces you already have experience of because of domestic cricket, so that helps. As for India A, it is an additional advantage, because most opposition teams have 5-6 international players. Bowling against them does prepare one better for the international challenge,” Axar Patel further said.

The 27-year-old, who played 38 ODIs and 11 T20Is for India before making his Test debut, said that he is eager to play the next Test in front of his home crowd.

“I am really looking forward to it. It will be my second Test, and I will be playing in front of my home ground on the rebuilt stadium. You also get home support, so that is a big thing. I will tell you about my exact feeling on that day,” said the debutant amusingly.

The third Test match between India and England, which will be a pink-ball encounter, will be held in Ahmedabad’s Motera Stadium from February 24.

Published 14 Feb 2021, 22:50 IST
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