In the 19th over of the third Test at Ahmedabad, Axar Patel bowled his conventional arm-ball from round-the-wicket to Joe Root. The ball carried straight on with the angle and Root, prodding forward, played down the wrong line and was struck plumb in front of the stumps. Umpire Anil Chaudhry had no qualms in raising his finger send the England captain on his way.
Root, who knew he was caught in front, barely even considered opting for the DRS as he turned around and made his way back to the pavilion. The moment was a lot more special as it came at Axar Patel’s home ground, and the happiness was quite visible on the spinner’s face.
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This was Axar Patel’s first 10-wicket haul in his career and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Patel’s 6 wickets in the first innings had kept England down to just 112 runs. However, led by Joe Root’s fifer, the visitors roared back in the game by bundling out the home side for just 145 runs.
Axar Patel, though, didn’t allow the visitors to run away with the advantage. The left-arm off-spinner took 2 wickets in the first 3 balls of England’s second essay by sending back Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow for ducks.
He also took the third wicket – of Dom Sibley for just 7 runs. All of these wickets came with the combination of Axar Patel’s pin-point accuracy and his ability to get the ball turn and skid from the same spot on the pitch.
It’s Axar Patel’s day today. No one can stop him, not even Joe Root. 🔥
He gets his first-ever 1️⃣0️⃣ wicket haul in Test Matches 💙
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) February 25, 2021
With these figures, Axar Patel played a massive role in India’s push for a massive 10-wicket victory. Coming into the series, Patel had massive shoes to fill, with the Gujarat all-rounder taking Ravindra Jadeja’s spot in the squad.
However, with a 5-wicket haul on debut and a Man of the Match performance at Ahmedabad, the all-rounder might have just cemented his spot in the squad for some time to come.