Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar has heaped high praise on left-arm orthodox Axar Patel for his record-breaking performance in the recently-concluded pink-ball Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Axar Patel has got off to a brilliant start to his Test career. Having made his debut in the second Test in Chennai, Axar has already claimed three consecutive five-wicket hauls.
Patel was virtually unplayable in the pink-ball Test and, as a result, he went on to register figures of 6/38 and 5/32 across two innings to become the first bowler in day-night Test history to claim as many as 11 wickets.
Heaping high praise on Patel for his exploits, Sachin Tendulkar pinpointed the fact that the left-arm orthodox when against the general consensus of pitching the ball up, and focussed on firing the ball in and targeting the stumps.
As a result, most of the batsmen who were playing for the turn, got beaten on the inside-edge and were either out bowled or LBW.
“When a left-arm spinner is bowling to a right-hander, then he cannot bowl outside off stump. The length is important but the line becomes even more important. So the line of a left-arm spinner against a right-handed batsman has to be on off and middle so you cannot leave the ball,” Sachin Tendulkar said on a video posted on his YouTube channel.
“Even if the ball is turning, you have to play because the odd one will go through and that is what happened. There were batters who were looking to play marginally behind the line and there were those who were trying to cover the spin. The ones who tried to cover were either bowled or out LBW.” he said.
“The left arm spinner’s speed, the trajectory, the angle becomes important. It’s not one of those surfaces where you’ll toss the ball up and then as we say buy a wicket. If the wicket is offering assistance, what you need to do is not give batsmen enough time to adjust,” Tendulkar explained.
Tendulkar observed that while England skipper Joe Root, who claimed 5/8 in 6.2 overs in the first innings, did the same thing, he was unable to spot the same in case of Jack Leach, who was largely trying to toss the ball off rather than firing it into the three stumps.
“And Axar was brilliant at that. Since we’re talking of left-arm spinners, I did not find Leach doing that consistently. He was still trying to toss up the ball, but on this surface, you need to push the ball through a bit.” he signed off.