On Tuesday, India all-rounder Axar Patel won the award for the Best International Debut – Men for 2020-21 at the BCCI awards.
Axar made his Test debut in 2021 in the home series against England. He demolished the England batters by picking 27 wickets, which included 4 five-wicket hauls, in 3 Tests at a jaw-dropping average of 10.59, helping India win the series 3-1 after being 0-1 down.
Axar Patel will now once again come up against England at home, but who have a completely different mindset to Joe Root’s side in 2021 with Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum leading the Bazball revolution since 2022, winning 13 out of 18 Test matches.
At the award ceremony, Axar Patel was asked about his secret weapon and plans for the upcoming 5-Test series against the Three Lions. The left-arm spinner laughingly denied revealing his plans, especially in the presence of McCullum, who also attended the event.
“I am not revealing my bowling. It is a top secret. I am so happy with my development. There are 5 Test matches, I can’t reveal anything, Brendon McCullum is sitting here,” Axar Patel said at the BCCI Awards ceremony.
Axar Patel vs Kuldeep Yadav? Harbhajan Singh makes his pick
Although Axar Patel seems likely to be picked in the XI, with Ravindra Jadeja – who missed the 2021 series – also in the team, India might ponder over including Kuldeep Yadav, a left-arm wrist-spinner, as a point of difference bowler to Jadeja and Ashwin.
Former India off-spinner Harbhajan opined that India should go with Kuldeep over Axar because of the presence of Jadeja. Harbhajan, though, pointed out that Axar Patel is a much better batsman than Kuldeep; Axar contributed significantly with the bat last year against Australia at home.
“Look, the way I look at it that when both R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are in playing eleven and you are looking at a third specialist spinner, it should be Kuldeep,” Harbhajan told PTI.
“Because Kuldeep as a wrist spinner will bring that variation. But I believe Axar’s selection in Test matches is purely on his batting skills. At No 8 or 9, he can bat and that’s what he brings to the table.”