Ashish Nehra reckoned that Axar Patel’s experience of playing in domestic cricket was quite visible, with the left-arm hitting the same line and length during the first Test. He also opined that Axar grabbed the chance that Shahbaz Nadeem let go, showing the level of consistency required.
With Shahbaz Nadeem’s selection in the first Test, the hosts were put under immense pressure by the visitors, with the left-arm spinner not aiding to his own chances, with an inconsistent show, picking up 4 wickets while conceding 233 runs in the Test. However, his selection was driven by the fact that India’s first-choice left-arm spinner for the first Test, Axar Patel was ruled out with an injury.
Once Axar returned to the fore, the Gujarat spinner became an integral part of the setup for the second Test, alongside Ravichandran Ashwin. Former Indian pacer Ashish Nehra, who has watched the Test series in close quarters, reckoned that Axar Patel, who walked into the setup showed clear signs of domestic cricket experience with his consistent line and length, which troubled the English batsmen.
"The experience of domestic cricket was clearly evident as he (Axar) did what he knows, he kept bowling at the same spot. We had discussed earlier as well that Ravichandran Ashwin was there in any case with the experience but Axar Patel can also take five wickets and he did that," Nehra said on Star Sports, reported HT.
The left-arm pacer also insisted that Axar grabbed his opportunity, which was in the first place let go by Shahbaz Nadeem, because of his inconsistent bowling. He also added that it was crucial for the Gujarat spinner to bowl well in the conditions, which had help for the spinners.
"Axar Patel grabbed the chance that Shahbaz Nadeem let go of when he played because of Axar's injury. But Axar Patel did not make the same mistake. We repeatedly said that the conditions were favourable for spin bowling but still you need to bowl and take the wickets by showing the consistency," he concluded.