Connect with us
Saturday,12-June-2021

International

Axar Patel fills Jadeja’s shoes by sticking to his strengths

Published

on

Axar-Patel

India left-arm spinner Axar Patel’s dismissal of England’s Jonny Bairstow was very Ravindra Jadeja-like. Patel, playing just his second Test, beat Bairstow on the inside edge for leg-before wicket. The right-handed batsman played for the turn, only to realise that there was no turn. It is something Jadeja does extremely well on Indian wickets where there is turn.

Jadeja and Patel bowl a tight line, giving nothing away, instead of giving turn to the ball. Jadeja, who is yet to recover from a thumb fracture he suffered in Australia, has paired with Ashwin successfully over the last eight years of Test cricket in India, helping the team stay unbeaten at home in Test series since 2012-13.

When India last lost a series at home, in 2012-13 against England, Jadeja and Ashwin were yet to form a pair with the left-arm spinner making his debut only in the drawn last Test of that series. Ashwin and Jadeja have taken 348 wickets in the 33 Tests they have played together.

It came as no surprise then, that India’s sole concern in the bowling department ahead of the Test series against England was Jadeja’s absence. His accuracy, variations in pace and minimal turn are important assets to confuse batsmen on wickets that aid turn. Axar Patel, however, has stepped into his shoes well.

The Gujarat left-arm spinner picked up his second successive five-wicket haul, a 6/38, on Wednesday after 5/60 in the second innings of the second Test. Patel stuck to an accurate line in both innings across the two Tests and allowed the pitch and batsmen’s nerve do the rest.

“Axar is good at getting one to skid on and one to turn,” said England opener Zak Crawley, who himself fell to Patel as England’s fourth wicket after scoring a half-century.

This created confusion, to which England batsmen succumbed. Not just confused by which ball to play and which to ignore, but where to play, on front foot or back foot.

Former India left-arm spinner Maninder Singh feels both Patel and Jadeja know their limitations and that serves them well.

“The similarity between Jadeja and Axar Patel is that they know their strengths. They don’t go out of the way to do things they don’t know. They know what their capabilities and limitations are. They both know that they can’t bowl classical spin of using flight etc. That (knowing their limitations) is their biggest strength and is the most important thing,” Maninder told IANS.

“They know what they can do and they stick to that.”

The 55-year-old former spin bowler says that having a coach like Ravi Shastri who, too, played within his limitations, has helped.

“If you see Shastri’s batting, he would score off the hips, with flicks but would avoid cover-drive. Only after reaching a century, he would try that. Otherwise he would stay away from it. Ravi knew his strengths and knew the cover drive wasn’t his strength. Similarly, these two boys (Jadeja and Patel) know their strengths,” he said. On Wednesday, Patel said that he stuck to a wicket-to-wicket line as there was nothing else to do.

International

Andre Russell hit on helmet in PSL, taken to hospital

Published

on

Andre-Russell

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell was on Friday taken to a hospital here in an ambulance after he was struck on the helmet by a bouncer in a Pakistan Super League (PSL) match.

Russell — who was replaced by fast bowler Naseem Shah under the concussion-sub rule — had smashed two sixes off Muhammad Musa in the 14th over while representing Quetta Gladiators against Islamabad United.

He went for a pull-shot but misjudged the bounce as the ball hit him on his helmet.

Though the West Indian decided to continue batting after being examined by a physio, he was out the very next ball, caught at third man.

Russell was seen being stretchered out of the dressing room to an ambulance during the first over of the second innings.

Chasing a target of 133 all out in 20 overs set by Quetta Gladiators, United’s openers Usman Khawaja and Colin Munro smashed unbeaten 40 and 90 runs, respectively. United won the match by 10 wickets in 10 overs.

Continue Reading

International

No excuse for the loss, made mistakes: Rafael Nadal

Published

on

Rafael-Nadal

World No. 3 Rafael Nadal, whose unbeaten streak at French Open spread over last six years was broken in Friday’s semi-finals, said world No. 1 Novak Djokovic got used to cooler Paris conditions at night better even as he himself could not produce the top level tennis expected of him.

“That’s sport. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I tried to give my best,” Nadal said after the match before adding that he could not convert the chances he got.

“I had a big chance with set point, 6-5, second serve in the third set. That is it. Anything could happen in that moment. Then I made a double fault, missed an easy volley in the tie-break. But it’s true that there were crazy points out there. The fatigue is there, too. These kind of mistakes can happen,” he added.

As the match extended into late evening and night, Nadal’s topspin shots that were bouncing high off the clay court began bouncing lower as conditions got cooler making it easier for Djokovic.

Nadal though refused to term it as an excuse and instead felt that Djokovic had got used to the conditions better.

“It does not matter. That is tennis. The player who gets used to the conditions better is the player who deserves to win. So no doubt he deserved to win,” said the world No. 3.

The Spaniard admitted he was not at his best. He made eight double faults against Djokovic’s three.

“But if you want to win, you can not make these mistakes. So that is it. Well done for him. It was a good fight out there. I tried my best, and today was not my day.

“It probably was not my best day out there. Even if I fought, put a lot of effort, the position on the shots were not that effective tonight,” Nadal said.

“Against a player like him who takes the ball early, you are not able to take him out of his positions, then it is very difficult.”

Continue Reading

International

South Africa have Windies on the mat after Quinton de Kock ton

Published

on

Quinton-de-Kock

South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock hit an unbeaten 141 to hand his team a strong first-innings lead on the second day of the first Test against West Indies who, with just six second-innings wickets remaining, are still 143 runs adrift and look set for an innings defeat.

Pace bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje took two wickets each as they reduced West Indies to 82 for four at stumps on second day after de Kock’s 170-ball knock had taken Proteas to 322 in first innings. West Indies had been dismissed for 97 in first innings on the first day.

The left-handed wicket-keeper batsman hammered seven sixes and 12 fours in his knock after half of the Proteas side was back in the pavilion with just 162 on the scoreboard.

The 28-year-old from Johannesburg had walked in after the fall of third wicket. Although none of his fellow batsmen could script a partnership with him, he found company in all-rounder Wiaam Mulder as the two added 53 runs for the sixth wicket.

After Mulder, Keshav Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada were dismissed in quick succession, de Kock added 79 for the ninth wicket with Nortje (7 off 29). He farmed the strike and went for the big hits. Aiden Markram, who made 60 on the first day, and Rassie van der Dussen, with 46, were the next highest scorers.

The 79 runs for the ninth wicket came in just over 12 overs.

Jason Holder, with four for 75, was the most successful bowler for the Caribbean side.

Windies were then reduced to 51 for four before Roston Chase (21 off 71) and Jermaine Blackwood (10 off 27) stemmed the rot with an unbeaten 31-run partnership in 12.2 overs.

Brief scores: West Indies 97 all out and 82/4 vs South Africa 322 all out in 96.5 overs (Q de Kock 141 not out, A Markram 60, R van der Dussen 46, J Holder 4/75, J Seales 3/75)

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending