I just knew that I would do well, says Axar Patel

I just knew that I would do well, says Axar Patel

Axar said that his fifer in Chennai gave him a lot of confidence and that the crowd support helped the team

Indian spin bowler Axar Patel. Credit: PTI Photo

Axar Patel attributed his pace-bowling upbringing to an evolved version of the slider in the wake of his six-wicket haul against England on the opening day of the third Test at the Narendra Modi stadium in Motera on Wednesday. 

Axar returned figures of 6 for 38 in bowling England out for 112, and five out of those wickets came from arm-balls with some heat behind them. 

“I think me starting off as a pace bowler helped me work on my arm-ball,” explained Axar. “I had to figure a way to utilise my skillset after making the switch because of a knee niggle. Also, the pitch wasn’t turning nearly as much so I had to under-cut the ball a lot more.”

“My fifer in Chennai gave me a lot of confidence. Coming into this Test, it didn’t matter what the conditions were and what the ball would do, I just knew that I would do well,” he said. 

Speaking about home advantage, Axar shot down the suggestion, saying the pitch and the stadium has changed so much that it felt brand new, even to the local lad. 

Also Read | India score 99/3 at stumps on Day 1 after Axar Patel hits Englishmen for a six

“No home advantage here (laughs),” said Axar. “The only advantage was that the crowd was behind us. The Gujarati crowd was great.”

On the other side of things, Zak Crawley, England’s highest scorer on the day with 53, said the side was frustrated with the inconsistencies from the third umpire C Shamshuddin. 

“It’s very frustrating when these decisions, an entire days worth, don’t go in your favour,” said the opener. “Some of those decisions should have been spent more time on especially since more angles are available.”

As for the game, Crawley insisted that England still had a good chance. “Absolutely there is a way back into this contest. If we get them out cheap and put on a good show in the second innings, I think we can get on top of this contest.”

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