India’s all-rounder Axar Patel conceded 66 runs without taking a wicket in the fourth match of the ongoing One Day International (ODI) series against Australia. After missing out in the first three match of the series due to an injury, he was raring to take the field.
But, it turned out to be a forgettable outing for the all-rounder as Australian batsmen, openers in particular smashed him and all other Indian bowlers all around the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore. And he couldn’t contribute much with the bat.
Axar Patel looked completely off colour and kept darting the ball in to David Warner and Aaron Finch, who smashed him for lots of boundaries. There were very few deliveries that went pass Australian batsmen’s bats as everything came out pretty much from the middle and there was nothing that Patel could do to stop them.
Axar’s performance was criticised by fans and pundits and he was under pressure to do well in the fifth ODI. Patel is a very exciting young cricketer but his competition in the playing XI is with Ravindra Jadeja, who is, arguably, the best spinner in India. Also, Jadeja is a better batsman and fielder as compared to Axar Patel.
The major reason why Axar Patel was picked for this series was– selectors’ decision to rest Ravindra Jadeja for the upcoming series as he has been playing nonstop cricket for India across all three formats of the game.
Coming back to Axar’s bowling, he bowled brilliantly in his first spell in the fifth ODI and restricted the Aussie batsmen on a pitch that was a bit on the slower side. He started his spell with a few fast darts but soon MS Dhoni assessed the pitch and kept telling him to bowl slower through the air.
During Axar Patel’s first spell, MS Dhoni was heard saying:
“Dheere daal. Thoda zyada ghoomega.” (Bowl slow, it will turn more.)
“Tez nahin, halka daal.” (Don’t bowl fast.)
After this, Axar started bowling slower through the air and took three big wickets– David Warner, Peter Handscomb and Travis Head. Just a small adjustment in speed made a bg difference and Patel picked 3 wickets in his 10 overs for just 38 runs.