Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has heaped praise on Axar Patel and said that India’s latest spin sensation might become the quickest to pick 100 Test wickets. Notably, Akhtar’s comments came after Axar played an important role in India’s thumping 3-1 win over England in the recently-concluded Test series. Patel earned his maiden Test call-up for the series only because all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was sidelined with a thumb injury. The Rawalpindi Express went on to talk at length about the star of the series.
Axar Patel, on his debut made an immediate impact and took seven wickets in the match, including 5-60 in the second innings as India clinched a series-levelling win. In the third Test, he did even better and returned figures of 6-38 and 5-42 as India thrashed the visitors inside two days. In the fourth and final Test, Axar picked up 9 wickets including 5 for 48 in the second innings.
“Not only did he get a suitable wicket to bowl on, but he is an intelligent bowler too. He wouldn’t have given a chance to the English players when the control was in his hands, and that is what he did. If he keeps getting a few series like this, he might just become fastest bowler to 100 wickets. Having said that, England should have played him better.”
England Got a Reality Check in India: Shoaib Akhtar
Akhtar further said that the series loss to India was a reality check for the visitors and wondered how they will rise again after a humiliating defeat such as this one.
“All in all, it was an embarrassing defeat for the England team, and they have got a reality check in India. But they need to now learn the art of playing spin in the sub-continent well. Not sure, how are they going to lift themselves up from this humiliating defeat and motivate themselves to play better,” Shoaib Akhtar said on his Youtube channel.
Akhtar said that if the pitch really was as bad as the English media and former cricketers such as Michael Vaughan and Alastair Cook made it out to be then how did India go on to score 365, while the English batsmen struggled.
“While many might talk about the wickets in the series, but look how India scored 365. They also played on the same wickets, where the England batsmen struggled. If Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar can score runs, why can’t the English. With utmost ease, India has beaten England in the series, and sealed a spot in the final of the World Test Championship final,” Akhtar added.