3 interesting stats from Axar Patel’s five-for in his debut Test

Axar Patel. Pic: BCCI

Indian left-arm spinner Axar Patel made a memorable Test debut in Chennai, picking up five wickets in the second innings to help his team beat England by 317 runs and level the series.

The 27-year-old finished with figures of 5 for 60 from 21 overs in the fourth innings of the match, as England were bowled out for a paltry 164 in their second innings.

Axar Patel completed his five-for when he trapped Olly Stone lbw for a duck. The hosts wrapped up the game not long thereafter when Kuldeep Yadav had Moeen Ali stumped for a whirlwind 43 off only 18 balls.

Patel began India’s march towards victory on Day 3 when he trapped opener Dom Sibley (3) leg before with an arm ball. He then had nightwatchman Jack Leach caught in the slips for a duck with one that spun and bounced.

Axar Patel dismissed Ollie Pope (12) as well before ending England captain Joe Root (33)’s resistance for the second time in the match. Root gloved one to Ajinkaya Rahane in the slips.

With his five-wicket haul in the second innings, Axar Patel entered the record books. Here are three interesting stats from his debut Test performance:

With figures of 5 for 60, Axar Patel became the ninth Indian and sixth spinner to claim a five-wicket haul on Test debut.

The other Indian spinners to have claimed five-fors on Test debut are VV Kumar (5/64 against Pakistan in Delhi, 1960/61), Dilip Doshi (6/103 against Australia in Madras, 1979/80), Narendra Hirwani (8/61 & 8/75 against West Indies in Madras, 1987/88), Amit Mishra (5/71 against Australia in Mohali, 2008/09) and Ravichandran Ashwin (6/47 against West Indies in Delhi, 2011/12).

Syed Abid Ali (6 for 55 against Australia in Adelaide, 1967), Mohammed Shami (5 for 47 vs West Indies in Kolkata, 2013) and Mohammad Nissar (5 for 93 against England at Lord’s, 1932) are the only three Indian pacers to have claimed five-wicket hauls on Test debut.

Patel’s five-wicket haul was also the first five-for by an Indian on Test debut since Shami in 2013.

Only two of the nine five-wicket hauls by Indians on Test debut have been registered away from home – Syed Abid Ali (in Adelaide) and Mohammad Nissar (in London).

Axar Patel’s five-for was the third instance of an Indian player claiming five wickets in Chennai on debut. The two others are Dilip Doshi and Narendra Hirwani.

Doshi was the first left-arm spinner from India to claim a five-wicket haul on Test debut. His 6 for 103 came in the first innings of the first Test against Australia in September 1979, which was a drawn encounter.

Hirwani’s debut is among the most famous ones in Test cricket. He claimed 8 for 61 and 8 for 75 against West Indies in the fourth Test of the four-match series in January 1988. India won the Test by 255 runs.

We are only in the second month of 2021, and two left-arm spinners have already claimed five-wicket hauls on their Test debut.

While Axar Patel picked up 5 for 60 on his Test debut against England in Chennai, Pakistan’s Nauman Ali claimed a five-for in his first Test too.

Ali claimed 5 for 35 in the second innings of the Karachi Test against South Africa last month.

With his five-for, Ali (34 years and 114 days) became the oldest player to take a five-for on his Test debut since Fen Creswell (34 years and 146 days) of New Zealand against England in 1949.

Both Ali and Axar Patel’s five-fors have come in winning causes; Pakistan won the Karachi Test by seven wickets, and India wrapped up the Chennai Test by 317 runs.

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