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India vs England: Axar Patel Effortlessly Takes Ravindra Jadeja's Place in India's Spin Attack

India vs England: Axar Patel Effortlessly Takes Ravindra Jadeja's Place in India's Spin Attack

Ravindra Jadeja has had little competition for his spot as India's preferred spin all-rounder over the last seven years but that may have changed following Axar Patel's match-winning display in the third test against England in Ahmedabad.

  • Reuters
  • Updated: February 26, 2021, 12:30 PM IST

Ravindra Jadeja has had little competition for his spot as India’s preferred spin all-rounder over the last seven years but that may have changed following Axar Patel’s match-winning display in the third test against England in Ahmedabad. With Jadeja recovering from a thumb injury, Patel was called up to assist spin spearhead Ravichandran Ashwin in the four-test series against Joe Root’s men. Patel missed the series opener with a knee injury but impressed in the second match, claiming his maiden five-wicket haul in his debut test in Chennai. The 27-year-old followed that with a match haul of 11-70 on a dustbowl in Ahmedabad where India triumphed inside two days in the pink-ball test on Thursday.

India captain Virat Kohli said Patel had filled in seamlessly for ‘Jaddu’.

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“When Jaddu got injured, I’m sure a lot of people (in the opposition) must have been relieved,” Kohli said after their 10-wicket victory.

“But then this guy comes in, bowls probably faster than Jaddu, from a greater height.

“It’s impossible to sweep him, it’s impossible to defend him all day. For Axar to come in and do this is outstanding.”

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While spinners from both sides feasted on wickets on the turning track, Patel troubled batsmen with sharp turn but got most of the victims with a skidding straight delivery.

“He made the batters play most of the balls, which is important on a wicket like that because you never know which one is going to turn and which one is going to come straight,” team mate Rohit Sharma said a video conference.

“He’s got solid skill-set, bowls a little wider from the crease and a slightly slingy action as well. It makes it very difficult for the batsmen, whether to leave or play.”

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Patel knows he is yet to match one aspect of Jadeja’s all-round game after managing 12 runs in three innings.

“Wickets are coming, so nobody is pointing it out at the moment but I know that if I can’t score with the bat in the next few games, people would start criticising me,” Patel said after collecting player-of-the-match award.

“But at least I’m contributing with the ball, and I’m positive about it.”



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
FULL Ranking