Former India National Cricket Team all-rounder Irfan Pathan believes that the left-arm spinner Axar Patel could prove to be a “big threat” to the Australia National Cricket Team star batter Steve Smith in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
The 33-year-old Smith, who is unarguably one of the greatest ever to play Test cricket, has got great numbers against India in the purest format of the game and he can trouble the Indian bowlers a lot in their own backyard in the upcoming high-profile Test series.
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In 14 Tests against India, the Australian star has amassed 1742 runs at an astonishing average of 72.58, with 8 hundreds and 5 fifties.
On the Indian soil in 6 Tests, Smith has scored 660 runs at an impressive average of 60.00, with 3 tons and 1 half-century. There is no doubt that the 33-year-old will be one of the most prized wickets in the upcoming series.
Speaking on the Star Sports show ‘Game Plan’, Pathan was asked if Smith is the biggest threat in the Australian batting unit. He responded:
“No doubt about that. He is definitely an Australian legend. If you look at the Australian history as well, he is up there. He has troubled the Indian bowlers a lot, scored tons of runs.
“Even though you know that he has got a really solid bottom hand, but still he finds ways to score runs in front of the wickets, on the off and leg side. We need to have a proper plan.”
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One guy, which I have a great feeling, who can actually have the numbers against him is Axar Patel – Irfan Pathan
Pathan acknowledged the challenge of Smith for India, but said that he has a “great feeling” that the left-arm spinner Axar Patel can get the better of Smith. The former all-rounder also gave logical reasons behind his remark.
“The challenge of Steve Smith will be there for Indian cricket but I think one guy, which I have a great feeling, who can actually have the numbers against him is Axar Patel. If he plays regularly all the matches, the kind of trajectory he has, he can be a big threat to him,” said Pathan.
“The line and length he bowls, the straight ball he bowls, he can bring the lbw or bowled into play against Steve Smith, especially because he uses his bottom hand a lot. A bowler who continuously bowls at the stumps can prove to be an alarm bell against such a player, that is Axar Patel,” he added.
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