The Men-in-Blue have made a single change in their Playing XI and have included the third spinner in Axar Patel in place of seamer Shardul Thakur.
Spinner Axar Patel, who has been the star Indian bowler in the last two Test against England, has said that he concentrated on improving his game to have a positive mentality in the past three years.
Patel made his way into the Indian Test team during the four-match series against England and has been the best bowler in the second and third Test, both of which India won comfortably. In four innings, he has picked up two five-wicket hauls and one six-fer.
Patel had already played two ODIs and 11 T20Is for India. However, he had been out of the senior national setup since a T20I against South Africa in Cape Town on February 24, 2018.
“When I was out of the team for the last three years, I was concentrating on what I needed to work on. A lot of people ask why you are not there in the team when you are not selected despite performing so well in the Indian Premier League and for India A,” said Patel in a conversation with India team mate Hardik Pandya in a video posted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on its website.
“These questions come to my mind also and so I just think that I will wait for my chance and when I get it I will give it my 100 per cent. My friends and family who helped me over the past two three years, and this includes you (Pandya), all of you have taught me how to tackle problems,” he further said.
Patel’s debut in the longest format of the game came during India’s second Test against England in Chennai. He recorded figures of 2/40 and 5/60 in that match before leading India to victory at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera near Ahmedabad, where he plays his home matches for Gujarat in domestic cricket. Patel dismantled England with figures of 6/38 and 5/32 as India won the only day-night Test of the series in just two days.
“It feels great. It is only my second match and the first in Motera. I loved it when the crowd chanted ‘Axar, Axar!’ when I came on to the ground. When the local crowd cheers for you it feels even better because my family was sitting in the stands. I have played all my life in front of them and my coaches,” said Patel.
Meanwhile, India beat England by 10 wickets on an extraordinary second day of the only day-night Test of the series at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera on Thursday.
Indian spinners took 19 of the 20 England wickets to fall for a dominating performance at the newly constructed stadium with a pitch that was largely unknown. Sunil Gavaskar described it as a “challenging pitch.
In England’s second innings, three Indian slow bowlers on Thursday bagged all 10 wickets to spin out England for a mere 81 runs, leaving India to score 49 to win.