Axar Patel couldn't wait to get the ball in his hands: Virat Kohli

Tags: England tour of India 2021, England, India, India vs England, 2nd Test at Chennai, Feb 13-17, 2021, Axar Rajeshbhai Patel, Virat Kohli

Published on: Feb 17, 2021

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Indian captain Virat Kohli and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin praised debutant Axar Patel, who claimed a five-wicket haul on Test debut in the second innings of the second innings of the second Test in Chennai. Patel picked up 5 for 60 as India rolled over England for 164. With the 317-run triumph, India squared the four-match series 1-1.

Following the win, Kohli said that Patel was very keen to play the Test. Kohli was quoted as saying, "He was very keen to step onto the field, and as a left-arm spinner, when you get that kind of a pitch where it is turning square and he bowls so fast, he was just all smiles, he couldn't wait to get the ball in his hands.”

Axar was slated to make his debut in the first Test but was ruled out due to a niggle, and had to be replaced by Shahbaz Nadeem. Kohli added, "Actually, he would have played the first game as well if he didn't have that niggle. Hope he builds it up from here on, and has a very strong couple of games going forward, so he's always in the mix to play Test cricket for India."

Veteran off-spinner Ashwin, who was named Man of the Match award for his hundred and eight wickets, also applauded Axar for a memorable debut. Ashwin said, "I thought Axar bowled beautifully. Even in the first innings he was pretty good. He got his rewards in the second innings. He didn't look like [he was] nervous. He looked like he was there. It didn't look like he was under pressure. He just turned up like he would turn up for a first-class game and bowl beautifully.”

Ashwin also praised Kuldeep Yadav and added that the wickets he picked should give the latter confidence going ahead. "Sometimes when you are bowling after a long time, to get confidence with an early wicket, is always very important. The moment he got the batsman to drive, he was going to be handful," the 34-year-old explained.

The third Test between India and England will be held in Ahmedabad from February 24.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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