“Because Jonny Bairstow had…” – Axar Patel’s sensational revelation on crucial ground

Axar Patel, Jonny Bairstow

India all-rounder Axar Patel has spoken about the dismissal of Jonny Bairstow in the first innings of the ongoing Test against England. He said that he was trying to bowl from wicket to wicket because the batsman had plans to avoid the LBW.

Axar Patel was one of the key players for India on Day 1 of the first Test against England in Hyderabad. The spinner bowled great lines and lengths and troubled the opposing batsmen with the variations from him.

The highlight of Axar Patel’s bowling was the wicket of Jonny Bairstow. He bowled a perfect pitch that the batsman had no idea about and watched his stumps break. The left-arm spinner bowled a full delivery on the middle stump and it slipped in.

The England batsman attempted to play the angle while advancing to defend the ball. He was out-spinned as the ball drifted away and over the outside edge of Jonny Bairstow’s bat to hit the top of the stump.

Jonny Bairstow had barely made a mistake up to that point. But Axar Patel’s brilliance saw him return to the cabin. The batsman scored 37 runs off 58 balls and smashed five boundaries in his innings.

While talking about Jonny Bairstow’s wicket, Axar Patel said that batsman had fourth stump to avoid LBW. That’s why he expected the delivery to be diverted. He said that he enjoyed that wicket and his celebrations were proof of that. Speaking to reporters, he explained:

“I was thinking about bowling in a wicket-to-wicket line as much as possible because Bairstow had the fourth guard to avoid the LBW. So we hoped that one installment would push the other away from the end. I was bowling because some strange balls spun, some didn’t and this one spun and you could see I really enjoyed that wicket with my celebrations.”

England finished with a total of 246 runs on the scoreboard, captain Ben Stokes played a powerful knock and propelled the team to fight for a total on a pitch where the ball turned from day 1.

Axar Patel said he did not feel the ball spin much as it did not skid after the delivery. He admitted that the wicket is a challenge but those who bat and play well will be successful. He added:

“They made 246 and we knew that the wicket is good and only some ball spins and more importantly this wicket is slow so it is easier to adapt to the spin. I don’t think the ball was spinning much, it was a normal spin like I said, the ball doesn’t skid after the throw. Yes, it is a challenging wicket, but if you bat well, you will get runs and if you bowl well, you will get wickets.”

England played attacking cricket, but I was concentrating on my bowling – Axar Patel

Axar Patel spoke more about his bowling and said that he was concentrating on his line and length despite England trying to play attacking cricket. He further spoke about his plans with captain Rohit Sharma and explained:

“England played attacking cricket, but I was focused on my bowling; I was thinking about concentrating on my line and length and adjusting according to how the course plays and that’s what I did during my spell.

“They were doing a lot of sweeps and reverse sweeps, so with the captain the discussion was where to put the fielders. If you had noticed, we had the center fielder back specifically for reverse sweeps. “If they play these shots with good pitches, we can’t do much, but since they were going for their shots, we knew we had a chance to take wickets.”

Axar Patel returned with figures of 2/33 in the 13 overs he bowled. As well as Jonny Bairstow, he also knocked out Ben Foakes. India, in response to England’s 246, posted 119 runs on the board and lost captain Rohit Sharma (24).