Axar Patel spells trouble

Patel wreaks havoc with five-for as New Zealand bowled out for 296, India 14/1

Axar Patel spells trouble

FIFTH SYMPHONY: This was left-arm spinner’s fifth five-wicket haul. In just three-and-a-half Tests, he has grabbed 32 wickets. PTI

Kanpur, November 27

Axar Patel continued his golden run in favourable home conditions, grabbing another five-wicket haul to put India in the driver’s seat after New Zealand were bowled out for 296 despite an opening stand of 151 on Day 3 of the first Test here today.

The left-arm spinner had a couple of dream sessions when he finally found the ideal pace and turn off the surface to completely derail New Zealand’s steady first innings. His final figures read 34-6-62-5 as India got a crucial 49-run first innings lead, which had risen to 63 at stumps.

It’s been a dream, no doubt. Test cricket is definitely not easy. I just try to enjoy the game whenever I play. When I have the ball in my hand, I’m too pre-occupied assessing the pitch and my bowling plans to think of these things Axar Patel

Ravichandran Ashwin was also exceptional as he bowled 42.3 overs to finish with 3/82, inching closer to becoming the third-highest Indian wicket-taker in the Test cricket.

Axar’s five

Gujarat man Axar has been terrific since he donned the India whites for the first time at the start of the year and now has as many as 32 wickets in just three-and-a-half Tests. Today’s five-for was his fifth, having already got four in the three Tests against England.

However, he will cherish this one a bit more considering the track was not as helpful as the ones during the England series (second Test in Chennai and the Pink Test in Ahmedabad).

At stumps, the hosts were 14/1 after losing Shubman Gill (1) for the second time to Kyle Jamieson, who again found a gaping hole between his bat and pad.

Onus on Kane

With balls keeping wickedly low, New Zealand’s chances of fighting it out in the fourth innings will be pretty low unless skipper Kane Williamson produces one of his outstanding defensive knocks.

Today, however, he managed just 18 runs and when Umesh Yadav’s in-cutter brought about his downfall at the stroke of lunch, the wheels of fortune turned in India’s favour.

This was after openers Will Young (89 off 214 balls) and Tom Latham (95 off 282 balls) added 151 for the opening stand but the two, despite their dogged display, missed out on hundreds.

It was the second new ball that did the trick just before lunch as Umesh (1/50 in 18 overs) pitched one on the off-stump, and the ball cut back to hit Williamson on his back leg. He reviewed the LBW decision but DRS did not reprieve him.

Change of line

The next two sessions belonged to India as they got eight wickets for just 99 runs.

Axar’s perseverance paid off as he changed his line from leg-middle to off-middle, and also released the ball at a greater speed as compared to what he did on the second evening.

He removed Ross Taylor (11), Henry Nicholls (2) and Latham within a space of 13 runs to completely upset the Black Caps’ rhythm. — PTI


India 1st innings 345

N Zealand 1st inn (Overnight 129/0)

T Latham st sub (Bharat) b Patel 95

W Young c sub (Bharat) b Ashwin 89

K Williamson lbw b Yadav 18

R Taylor c sub (Bharat) b Patel 11

H Nicholls lbw b Patel 2

T Blundell b Patel 13

R Ravindra b Jadeja 13

K Jamieson c Patel b Ashwin 23

T Southee b Patel 5

W Somerville b Ashwin 6

A Patel not out 5

Extras: (b 6, lb 4, nb 5, w 1) 16

Total: (All out, 142.3 overs) 296

FOW: 1-151, 2-197, 3-214, 4-218, 5-227, 6-241, 7-258, 8-270, 9-284

Bowling O M R W

Ishant Sharma 15 5 35 0

Umesh Yadav 18 3 50 1

Ravichandran Ashwin 42.3 10 82 3

Ravindra Jadeja 33 10 57 1

Axar Patel 34 6 62 5

India 2nd innings

M Agarwal not out 4

S Gill b Jamieson 1

C Pujara not out 9

Extras: 0

Total: (1 wicket, 5 overs) 14

FOW: 1-2

Bowling O M R W

Tim Southee 2 1 2 0

Kyle Jamieson 2 0 8 1

Ajaz Patel 1 0 4 0

50 Kiwis’ Kyle Jamieson reached 50 wickets in only his ninth Test. He bettered Shane Bond’s New Zealand record by 3 matches.

41 Ashwin, with 41 wickets, went past Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi to become the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket in the calendar year.

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