"He reminds me of Rangana Herath" - Brad Hogg praises Axar Patel for his bowling display in the 1st India vs New Zealand Test  

Axar Patel made his debut for India earlier this year against England
Axar Patel made his debut for India earlier this year against England
Gokul Nair

Former Australian spinner Brad Hogg heaped praise on Indian tweaker Axar Patel for his scintillating start to Test cricket. The left-arm spinner has picked up 33 wickets in five Tests, including five five wicket-hauls.

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Hogg drew out a comparison between Axar Patel and former Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath. He noted that, barring the difference in height, both bowlers displayed repeatable actions and other traits as well. While speaking on his YouTube channel, Hogg said:

"Axar Patel reminds me of Rangana Herath. The advantage he has over Herath is his height. His strengths are control over line and length and his control of change in pace. When he is bowling to a right-hander, he comes around the wicket and is always attacking the stumps."

Hogg added:

"He's not giving the batsman any relief, very rarely you see him bowl a poor bowl outside off-stump. He makes the batsman work hard for runs."

Standing at 183cm, Axar Patel has used his height to great benefit. While not a great turner of the ball, his accuracy and ability to vary his angles and pace make him a tough prospect to face.

Very rarely do batsmen play sweep shots off him: Hogg on Indian spinner Axar Patel

One of the shots that the visiting batsmen have against spinners in India is the sweep shot. The batsmen have been able to negate the turn and throw the bowler off the mark with a conventional sweep.

Hogg noted that playing the sweep against Axar Patel, however, is a difficult proposition. He said:

"Because he is attacking the stumps all the time, if the batsman wants to play the sweep shot, it is very hard to control with his extra height. Very rarely do batsmen play sweep shots off him because it brings the top edge and LBW into play."
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Patel picked up a fifer for India in the first innings against New Zealand and was the most economical out of all the bowlers in the second innings. He has arguably cemented his position in home conditions following a stellar start to his Test career.

The 27-year-old has also reportedly been rewarded for his exploits in the Indian jersey by becoming the fourth-choice retention for the Delhi Capitals in the IPL.

Edited by Anantaajith Ra

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