Former New Zealand cricketer Daniel Vettori praised Axar Patel for maintaining consistency and hitting the same length very often which consequently induced mistakes from the Kiwi batsmen on Day 3.
Axar picked up his fifth five-wicket haul in the first Test, which is the most among Indians after playing four matches. He stuck to his lengths and let the pitch do the rest, something that takes a lot of patience and determination to do, as per Vettori.
“When you build that pressure and economy, then things can happen very quickly. And that’s what Axar in particular did. Once he got a taste of the newer ball, that allowed his variations to be brought into play. I think he understands if he hits the right length, then the wicket will take over,” Vettori said in a conversation with ESPNcricinfo.
“His seam while bowling to left-hander allows the drift to happen” – Daniel Vettori
Daniel Vettori further analyzed that Axar is different from Ravindra Jadeja in the way he bowls to left-handers. While the speeds are generally the same, there is a lot more drift involved which can be due to the height on Axar.
“I think it’s more to the left-hander that he gets the drift due to the seam position. The release allows him to get more drift on the ball and that means that he asks questions of left-handers that not all left-armers do. That’s what he did to Tom Latham,” Vettori mentioned.
Axar put India on top after the opening stand of 151 between Latham and Will Young. Both batsmen fell agonizingly short of their centuries.