3rd Test: Was a fast bowler in early days, learnt arm ball myself, says Axar Patel

Written by Abhishek Patil

Gujarat’s very own Axar Patel starred with the ball on Day 1 of the pink- ball Test between India and England at the Narendra Modi Stadium and scalped 6 wickets for just 38 runs. The magic of left-arm spinner saw the visitors getting bowled out for a paltry 112-run total in just 2 seasons. With that, Axar, who is playing only in his 2nd Test match, has taken a five-wicket haul in consecutive 2 innings.

When asked about his arm ball and where did he learn from, Axar Patel revealed that he has mastered the art on his own. He went on to add that he was a fast bowler when he started playing cricket but started bowling spin because of knee problems.

“I have learnt the arm ball myself. I worked with Venkat Sir (Venkatapathy Raju) at the NCA to master this delivery. I was a fast bowler in the early days of my career, which is why my bowling style is a bit quicker. So, I think my experience of being a fast-bowler also helps me bowl arm balls. I converted myself into a spinner only because of knee problems, but what I used to do in my early days helps me bowl those arm balls quicker,,” said Patel.

Further, Axar Patel reckoned that the extra lacquer of the pink-ball did help him throughout his bowling spell. He said that the ball skidded more because of the extra lacquer and that made the lives of Joe Root’s men even more difficult in the middle. Explaining the idea behind him bowling the 7th over of the match, Axar admitted that even India bowlers were having problem will landing their foot while bowling.

“But when I came in, I felt that the extra lacquer could help the ball skid further and that’s exactly what happened. That was the difference between the red ball and the pink ball as the latter skid more off the pitch,” he said.

“But to be honest, I didn’t expect getting a six-for on the first day itself as there was no guarantee that we would be bowling first. However, the confidence was always there after I took five wickets in the previous Test and was bowling well too.

“I knew I had the variations to pose problems for batsmen with the pink ball as well,” Axar Patel added.



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Abhishek Patil