Indian skipper Virat Kohli was in awe of left-arm orthodox Axar Patel following his record-breaking figures of 11/70 in the pink ball Test that paved way for the home sides’ ten-wicket hammering of England in the post-match presentation.
And, his words of praise for the Gujarat spinner weren’t only restricted to interviews with the host broadcaster. The Indian captain even proceeded to gatecrash Axar’s interview with Hardik Pandya and in a typical Gujarati accent made it clear what he felt about the spinner’s bowling.
Hardik Pandya was interviewing Axar Patel following India’s ten-wicket win at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad and just as it was about to culminate, Virat Kohli proceeded to gate-crash it to heap praise on Patel in Gujarati.
“Bapu thaari bowling Kamaal chhe” said a jubilant Virat Kohli as all three of them broke into laughter. Virat’s words essentially meant “Bapu, Your bowling is brilliant”
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 26, 2021
Virat had every reason to heap high praise on Axar Patel, who has taken to Test cricket as fish takes to water since making his debut in the last match in Chennai.
Axar Patel has thus far claimed as many as 18 wickets in the two Tests that he has played. The left-arm orthodox has registered three back-to-back five-wicket hauls and the English batsmen have looked utterly out of their depth while facing his ‘arm ball’.
It was Axar’s six wickets on the first day of the pink-ball Test that paved way for India to knock over England for 112 despite them being comfortably placed at 2/74 at one stage.
He was at it again in the second innings where he claimed another five-for, which included two wickets in his first three balls, which helped India bowl England out for 81 and ensure that the home side needed just 49 runs to win the game.
In the process, Axar Patel also became the 3rd Indian spinner after Laxman Sivaramakrishnan and Ravichandran Ashwin to claim two five-wicket-hauls in the same Test against England. He also went on to become the first bowler to take as many as 11 wickets in a pink-ball Test.