Axar Patel, India’s star performer with the ball in the first innings of the ongoing Kanpur test match against the Kiwis, revealed that it was actually Ravichandran Ashwin who gave him the idea how to bowl to Tom Latham which led to the dismissal of the New Zealand left-hander.
Talking about his spell with the second new ball where he got a couple of quick wickets and brought India back into the game, Axar recalled that before he got Latham’s wicket, captain Ajinkya Rahane had told him that it was going to be the last over of his spell.
Axar said he was trying to bowl straight to Tom Latham, but Latham was not really showing any willingness to play the sweep shot or coming down the track to get to the pitch of the ball. Ravichandran Ashwin, who was fielding close to him, told him to change his line and try and get slightly wider, as it might then bring Latham out of his crease. That’s what exactly happened.
A wider line was bowled by Axar next ball, and Latham stepped out of his crease. While he didn’t completely miss the ball, it ricocheted off his body and went to the substitute wicketkeeper KS Bharat on one bounce. Latham was so far out of his crease that he didn’t have the time to get back before Bharat whipped the bails off.
“I was bowling to him (Latham) on stumps, but he was not sweeping or stepping out. Ashwin was at mid-on and he told me to bowl the ball away from the batter,” Axar Patel said in a video uploaded on BCCI’s official website.
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Axar Patel and other Indian spinners ran through New Zealand after Tom Latham’s wicket
Tom Latham’s wicket triggered a bit of a collapse in the New Zealand middle order as India managed to bowl the visitors out for less than 300 to take an extremely valuable 49-run lead on a deteriorating pitch.
Axar Patel completed his 5th five-wicket haul in only his 4th test match as he turned out to be India’s most successful bowler with the figures of 5 for 62, bowling 34 overs in what was a very rigorous bowling effort by the Indian team.