"Because Jonny Bairstow had..." - Axar Patel's sensational revelation about crucial wicket

Published - 25 Jan 2024, 09:36 PM

Axar Patel, Jonny Bairstow
Axar Patel, Jonny Bairstow [PC: BCCI]

India all-rounder Axar Patel opened up about the dismissal of Jonny Bairstow in the first innings of the ongoing Test against England. He said that he was trying to bowl wicket-to-wicket because the batter had plans to avoid the LBW. 

Axar Patel was one of the key performers for India on Day 1 of the first Test against England in Hyderabad. The spinner bowled great lines and lengths and troubled the opposition batters with his variations. 

The highlight of Axar Patel’s bowling was the wicket of Jonny Bairstow. He bowled a peach of a delivery to which the batter had no clue and saw his stumps getting shattered. The left-arm spinner bowled a full delivery on the middle stump and it drifted in. 

England’s batter tried to play for the angle as he got forward to defend the ball. He was outfoxed by the spin as the ball spun away and beat the outside edge of Jonny Bairstow’s bat to hit the top of the off stump. 

Jonny Bairstow till that point hardly put a foot wrong. But the brilliance of Axar Patel saw him back in the hut. The batter scored 37 runs off 58 balls and slammed five boundaries in his innings. 

While talking about the wicket of Jonny Bairstow, Axar Patel said that that batter had a fourth stump guard to avoid the LBW. Therefore he was hoping that the delivery turns away. He said that he enjoyed that wicket and his celebrations were proof of that. Speaking to reporters, he explained: 

“I was thinking of bowling wicket-to-wicket line as much as possible because Bairstow had the fourth stump guard to avoid the LBW. So we were hoping that one delivery turns the other away from the end I was bowling because some odd balls were turning some weren’t and this one turned and you could see that I enjoyed that wicket a lot with my celebrations.” 

England ended with a total of 246 runs on the board, skipper Ben Stokes played a powerful knock and powered the team to the fighting total on a pitch, that saw the ball turning from Day 1. 

Axar Patel said that he didn’t feel that ball spun much as it wasn’t skidding on after pitching. He admitted that the wicket is challenging but those who will bat and bowl well will succeed. He added: 

“They made 246 and we knew the wicket is good and it is only the odd ball that is spinning, and importantly this wicket is slow, so it is easier to adjust to the spin. I don’t think the ball was spinning that much, it was a normal spin as I said, the ball is not skidding on after pitching. Yes, it is a challenging wicket, but if you bat well, you will get runs and if you bowl well you will get wickets.” 

England was playing attacking cricket, but for me, I was focused on my bowling – Axar Patel 

Axar Patel further talked about his bowling and said that he was focusing on his line and length despite England trying to play attacking cricket. He further talked about his plans with skipper Rohit Sharma and elaborated: 

“England were playing attacking cricket, but for me I was focused on my bowling – I was thinking I will focus on my line and length, and adjust according to how the pitch is playing and that is what I did during my spell. 

“They were hitting a lot of sweeps and reverse sweeps, so with the captain the discussion was where to place the fielders. If you had noticed, we had the point fielder back specifically for the reverse sweeps. If they play these shots off good deliveries, we cannot do much, but because they were going for their shots we knew we had the chance to take wickets.” 

Axar Patel returned with the figures of 2/33 in the 13 overs he bowled. Apart from Jonny Bairstow, he also removed Ben Foakes. India in response to England’s 246 posted 119 runs on the board and lost skipper Rohit Sharma (24).

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Axar Patel England National Cricket Team IND vs ENG 2024 India National Cricket Team Jonny Bairstow