Former Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has heaped high praise on Axar Patel’s ability as he keeps shining in the ongoing Test series against England. Axar Patel has played a significant role in being a nightmare for England, who began the rubber on a promising note by winning the opening Test; however, they lost two in a row after that. Harbhajan Singh admired Axar Patel for curbing the opposition’s scoring opportunities.
Axar Patel made an impactful Test debut in the second Test in Ahmedabad by sniffing a fifer in the second innings. The left-arm spinner’s first Test wicket proved to be England’s captain Joe Root and took Moeen Ali’s scalp to limit England to below 150. Patel’s fifer in the second innings completed a crushing win for India.
But the pink-ball Test in Ahmedabad showed how he tormented the visitors. He snapped 11 wickets in the match as the hosts demolished the Englishmen within two days to register a 10-wicket win. Even in the ongoing Test, Patel has claimed two out of three England’s batsmen to fall in their first innings. As for the ICC World Test Championship final, Virat Kohli’s men only need to avoid a defeat in the fourth and final Test.
Axar Patel himself didn’t know whether the ball will spin or not: Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh recalled that during any spinner’s early days, they are taught to hit the stumps after spinning. He further said that if the pitch contains more spin, the bowler has to judge how much turn is required. Thus, it’s always a challenge to bowl whether any deck has spin or not. Harbhajan believes that Axar Patel was the best bowler in the pink-ball Test as he made England’s batsmen play every ball and he did not know whether it would spin or not.
“At the beginning of our journey, the spinners are taught to hit the stump — the ball should hit the stump after the spin. If the wicket has spin then the bowler needs to judge how much spin is required, and if you’re missing the stumps constantly then it’s the bowler’s fault. If there is a spinning track or any other track, there is always a challenge to bowl. The most difficult balls were the ones where the batsman had to face with the bat and I believe Axar Patel was the best bowler in this game because the batsman had to play every ball and Axar himself didn’t know whether the ball will spin or not,” the 103-Test veteran told Star Sports.