Team India spinner Axar Patel was at his best during the third day of the ongoing first Test against New Zealand at Green Park in Kanpur.
The left-armer bowled brilliantly and picked up the fifth five-wicket haul of his relatively short but extremely impressive Test career. Patel’s incredible effort with the ball helped India to pack New Zealand’s first innings for 296.
On the other hand, another spinner Ravindra Jadeja only picked one scalp during his 33 over a long spell. After New Zealand’s innings, former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer explained why Axar is more dangerous on slow tracks like the one at Green Park than Jadeja.
Jaffer reckoned that Axar’s straight deliveries are pretty challenging for batters as compared to the balls that spin because of his round-arm action. The Mumbaikar cited the example of India’s home Test series against England that was held earlier this year and said the most dangerous ball of Axar in the series against Englishmen was his straighter one.
“I think Axar bowls a little round-arm, and that’s where he beats the bat when it spins, and the more dangerous balls are the one that keeps straight, and that’s what happens [in] the series against England. The most dangerous ball was the one that kept straight. So he challenges you [on] both sides of the bat. The ball that keeps straight, obviously, the leg-before and bowled comes into play, and if it spins, then obviously, the slips and caught behinds come into play,” explained Jaffer on ESPNcricinfo Match Day show.
Jaffer observed that Jadeja’s is more an orthodox spinner, so batters can play him unless the pitch offers a square turn to bowlers.
“That’s why the ball from roundarm is the more difficult one on Indian pitches. Jadeja is more orthodox, so here you can negate that unless it’s a rank turner. So that’s where Axar is a little ahead of Jadeja on these kinds of pitches,” added Jaffer.