IND vs AUS 2022: “Axar Patel has a height advantage over Jadeja, which is why he has been getting more success” – Ashish Nehra on the left-arm spinner’s purple patch 

Former Indian pacer Ashish Nehra has praised Axar Patel’s recent exploits that earned him the player-of-the-series award in the three-match T20I series against Australia. The left-arm spinner claimed eight wickets at an economy of 6.3 to help India attain a 2-1 series win over the defending World T20 champions.

The Gujarat-born bowler was inducted into playing XI following an injury to Ravindra Jadeja. He has emerged as a serious candidate to bowl in the powerplay and has complemented the rest of the bowling attack as well. Axar has taken 16 out of his 29 wickets in 2022 and boasts a career economy rate of just 7.12.

Opining that the 28-year-old has evolved to be a superior bowling option over Ravindra Jadeja in T20 cricket, Nehra said on Cricbuzz:

“Axar Patel’s biggest strength is that he keeps his line tight, always on the stumps. When you don’t give room to play, it is going to be difficult for the batter to play even on the flattest of surfaces.”

Nehra continued:

“He also has a good control over his length. It is difficult to play the sweep or go over covers against him. Axar Patel has a height advantage over Jadeja, which is why he has been gettng more success with the ball when compared.”

Axar once again emerged as the pick of the bowlers in the series decider against Australia in Hyderabad. He landed the first blow with the wicket of Aaron Finch in the fourth over and bowled three overs on the trot in the powerplay. He went on to get rid of Josh Inglis and Matthew Wade to finish with figures of 3-33.

“The special thing about Axar Patel’s series has been the fact that he bowled in the powerplay” – RP Singh

Out of the 10 overs that Axar Patel has bowled in the series, five have come in the powerplay. The left-arm all-rounder’s compatriot Ravindra Jadeja was not considered an option for the initial overs. However, Patel’s ability to extract bounce, and his control on have made him a great powerplay option.

Branding the left-arm spinner a bowler who knows his strengths well, former Indian bowler RP Singh said during the same interaction:

“The special thing about Axar’s series has been the fact that he bowled in the powerplay. He is not a huge turner of the ball, but he has improved his bowling and reads the game and the opposition batter well. He knows his strengths.”

The left-arm spinner is likely to cement his place as the second-spinner heading into the World Cup. His newfound confidence will benefit the side, who will have to zero in on their choice in a few areas before the tournament begins.

Is Axar Patel a better T20 bowler than Ravindra Jadeja? Let us know what you think.

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