India left-arm spinner Axar Patel has said England batsmen don’t read deliveries from his hand and have only sweep and reverse-sweep shots to counter spin.
Patel, who is part of India squad that is embarking for England next month for World Test Championship final against New Zealand as well as five Test matches against England, took 27 wickets in three Tests against Joe Root‘s team in home series that concluded in March.
“If they are in doubt whether it’s spinning or not, they just play sweeps and reverse-sweeps. If one bowls stump-to-stump, then it gets tough for them but if the ball is pitched outside off-stump or leg-stump they go for the sweep. They don’t read the ball from my hand, instead, they go by where it’s pitched,” said Patel in an interview to Indian Express newspaper.
Patel said performances given by spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja over the years did not allow him to break into India Test side even though he felt he wasn’t lacking anything.
“I don’t feel I was lacking anything. Unfortunately, I was injured and lost my place in the ODIs. In Tests, [Ravindra] Jadeja and [Ravichandran] Ashwin were doing well. The way Jadeja was performing, it was very hard for any other left-arm spin all-rounder to find a place. The wrist spinners – Kuldeep [Yadav] and [Yuzvendra] Chahal – were doing well. It was due to the team combination that I was out. When I got a chance, I just tried to prove myself,” he added.
Patel said that he never got frustrated despite not getting opportunities since he knew he was in the scheme of things and had to grab opportunities.
“I don’t get easily frustrated. I was part of India A side and was in the scheme of things. It was about grabbing my chances. There were days when I did get frustrated. I was doing well but was not finding a place. But there are many players who are performing in domestic cricket but can’t get a break because players in the Indian team are performing well. It is important to wait for your time and when a chance comes, just grab it,” he added.
The 27-year-old said he is different from others since he bowls quicker ones and with pace.
“I don’t think much, I have played in all conditions. It depends on how consistent I’m. My bowling is different from others, I bowl with pace and bowl quicker ones. I can add that ball which can spin and I’m practicing it. Whenever I meet any senior player, be it Anilbhai [Kumble] or Ashwin, I ask them what more I can do. I take inputs and try to improve my bowling,” he added.