Axar Patel’s sensational start to Test cricket in stats

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Axar Patel is into the fifth Test match of his career, and he has already made an impression of being the most important strike bowler in the team. It seemed clear from the very first wicket he took, that the left-arm spinner from Gujarat will be a massive wicket-taker for the Indian side. His first wicket was of the man in form for England, Joe Root.

In Kanpur, despite New Zealand threatening to take a big first-innings lead with their stellar show by the end of Day 2, Axar was the man to provide the side away through the major trouble. The Indian spinners had a slightly tough time when Kane Williamson was in the middle, but once he was dismissed, Axar was in total control right from the early moments of the second session.

He returned with a five-fer in the innings, which included some crucial wickets of Tom Latham and Ross Taylor. He made fantastic use of the awkward bounce available on the track and picked wickets by keeping it low with his wider, lower release point and getting the odd one to turn.

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Axar’s sensational run with the ball meant he broke plenty of records and added himself to many elite lists of names. He is the first bowler since the great Rodney Hogg in 1978 to pick up five five-fors in his first year in Test cricket. He has picked up four or more wickets in his last six innings, and is on par with Johnny Briggs in the third spot. Charlie Turner’s streak ran until seven innings. with Waqar Younis and Muttiah Muralitharan leading the list with a sensational eight-innings streak.

Axat Patel second to Hirwani in most wickets taken in first four Tests for India

Axar Patel currently has 32 wickets to his international tally in just 7 innings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S. No.

Name Wickets Average

1

Narendra Hirwani 36 14.61

2

Axar Patel

27 11.56

3

Ravichandran Ashwin

26 24.81

4

Jasprit Bumrah

21 22.62

5

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan

21

24.10

Narendra Hirwani’s sensational start to international cricket will take some beating, and even with his sensational form, Axar Patel fell short of him by 9 wickets. In his first four Tests, Hirwani picked up 36 wickets whilst Axar managed 27. There are two other names in this list from the current crop of bowlers, in Ravichandran Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah, who picked up 26 and 21 wickets respectively in their first four Tests.

Another interesting thing to note, no Indian cricketer managed to pick four five-fers in their first four Test matches besides Axar.

Best bowling average in Tests for India (minimum 500 balls)

S. No.

Name Wickets Average

1

Axar Patel

32 10.87

2

Jasubhai Motibhai Patel

29 21.96
3

Shardul Thakur

14

22.71
4 Jasprit Bumrah 101

22.79

5

Kuldeep Yadav 26

23.84

Although 500 balls is quite a small sample size, it is worth noting that Axar Patel’s average in this time frame is way lower than any other bowler. Former Indian cricketer Jasubhai Patel, who represented the nation back in the 50s, averages 21.96 and is second in the list, whilst Axar averages a mere 10.87.

He also became the second-fastest cricketer in Test history to pick up five five-fers and it took him just seven innings, and levelled the likes of Charlie Turner and Tom Richardson.