Indian spinner Axar Patel has been in scintillating form, scalping 27 wickets in three Tests against England earlier this year at an average of 10.59, including 4 five-wicket hauls, and had equalled Dilip Doshi’s record of most wickets in his debut series.
Now, Patel is gearing up for India’s upcoming tour of England which comprises the World Test Championship Final against New Zealand, followed by a 5-match Test series against the hosts later in the month of August.
Before leaving for the England tour, Axar had a conversation with India TV where he spoke about the strength of the Indian Test team and recalled how the youngsters delivered positive results in the Test series Down Under when skipper Virat Kohli wasn’t around.
‘If you see this Indian cricket team, there is Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajnkya Rahane, and we have Rishabh Pant. The way these players have been in a rich vein of form lately, I don’t think Virat would be having the pressure alone.’
‘Our team had won the Test series in Australia when Virat wasn’t there. During the England series, Kohli got out early in a few innings but then Pant and Washington Sundar came up and performed. Rohit scored a couple of centuries as well. The spinners have also started batting down the order,’ Axar added.
‘You see how Shardul Thakur and Sundar made a partnership in Australia. And when you bat in England, you don’t chase big totals like 400 or 50. The total is around 300 or 250. So, that’s where the lower-order partnerships are important,’ he revealed.
Axar further stated that the current India team isn’t dependent on just one player as everyone in the playing XI contributes to winning the game.
‘When you have the likes of Pujara, Kohli, Rohit, Rahane and Pant in the top order and even if two out of five batters get out early, you know the rest three can do the job. So, I think, this Indian team has that quality. It doesn’t depend on just one player. Everyone contributes equally. If openers don’t click, the middle-order performs. And if both the departments fail to score, lower-order provides the results. That’s the kind of team work and it’s our strength,’ he concluded.