Axar became the first bowler to claim more than 10 wickets in a pink-ball Test and most of his 11 wickets came from the arm-ball that goes straight on with the angle to the right-hander.
Test cricket has been a bed of roses for Axar Patel. The India all-rounder, who has flummoxed the England batsmen with his left-arm spin on pitches that have been conducive to his style of bowling, has picked up as many as 18 wickets in his first two Tests.
Axar became the first bowler to claim more than 10 wickets in a pink-ball Test and most of his 11 wickets came from the arm-ball that goes straight on with the angle to the right-hander. After he got 9 wickets in bowled and LBW in Ahmedabad, Axar Patel got a nickname from his teammates Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant.
The tall left-arm spinner said he Pant believes Axar’s arm-ball tails in to the right-hander like Pakistan legend Wasim Akram’s in-swingers and hence the India wicketkeeper calls him ‘Wasim bhai’.
“He (Rishabh Pant) keeps on saying that by arm-ball comes in to the right-hander like Wasim bhai (Wasim Akram). The name was given by Ajju bhai (Ajinkya Rahane) and Pant picked it up from there,” said Axar.
While talking about his dream run in Test cricket, the Gujarat cricketer said, it feels easy as things are going his way but he would like to continue the hard work.
“It seems easy when it (Test-match five-for) happens, otherwise it feels different. Now that it's happening, I just want to continue my work - not thinking it's easy or difficult,” he said.
Axar will once be one of Virat Kohli’s key men in the fourth and final Test against England in Ahmedabad.
The England captain said his side had not underestimated left-arm spinner Axar Patel who grabbed 18 wickets in the two Tests that he has played.
“I definitely don't think we underestimate him (Axar). I think that he's exploited the surface very well. He's managed to beat both edges of the bat, which for any spinner is exactly what you're looking for all the time," said Root, lavishing praise on Patel.