In the first Test at Nagpur, India’s crucial first innings lead was built up by a partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel, both of whom scored fifties and ensured that India’s lead would go up by 200 runs. The 88-run partnership for the eighth wicket was compared to a Rohit Sharma innings by former Indian cricketer Ajay Jadeja.
“The wicket was not easy to bat on. The calmness, composure and solidarity displayed by Rohit Sharma was seen in Axar Patel too. He batted as if there were no demons on this wicket,” Jadeja said on Cricbuzz. Patel missed out on what could have been a well-earned century, but his knock drove the wedge between India and Australia – a wedge that was taken advantage of by Ravichandran Ashwin, who cleaned up the Aussie batting lineup with a five-wicket haul in the second innings.
Jadeja also spoke about how he rated Axar higher than Ravindra Jadeja on the basis that Axar’s improvement on his batting took place over the course of four Test matches, while Ravindra Jadeja’s took some more time to get to the stage where he is at today.
“He is one of those players who rises to the occasion – when the opportunity provides or when the team is in trouble or when all eyes are on him – and takes his game to a whole different level. I have heard things about him such as he is very casual, but someone who enjoys his game. But he improves when needed,” said Jadeja.
He then added, “If Ravindra [Jadeja] has taken 30 Test matches to improve his batting, he has taken just 4 I guess. He is performing his primary role of a bowler with aplomb but in batting too he has made rapid strides. If I have to rate all three all-rounders, then I will place Axar on top.”
India next face Australia in the second Test at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi starting February 17.