Shoaib Akhtar has claimed that Indian spinner Axar Patel might become the fastest bowler to 100 Test wickets, given the way he performed in his debut series against England. While Akhtar added that England should have played him better, he further agreed that Axar is an intelligent bowler.
Narendra Hirwani was never the same bowler after his glorious Chepauk debut against the Windies, where he picked up 16 wickets in the match, but Axar Patel after a game that saw him picking seven wickets rose from strength to strength to end the series with 27 wickets at an average of 10.59 to emerge as England's biggest nightmare. He was taking wickets for him and his arm balls were too difficult for the English batsmen to negotiate.
Ravindra Jadeja's return might result in Patel not playing Test cricket for quite some time, but Akhtar believes that the England series might have been the start of something special for the Gujarat all-rounder.
“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," Akhtar said in a video uploaded on his Youtube channel.
"If he keeps getting a few series like this, he might just become the fastest bowler to 100 wickets. Having said that, England should have played him better,” he added.
India will next play a Test when they take on New Zealand in June and if Ravindra Jadeja is fit, Axar might not get a look in. But with the New Zealand Test series scheduled for the backend of the year, he will get his chances, possibly as the third spinner.