Left-arm off-spinner Axar Patel believes the current Indian Test team doesn’t depend on individual performances or one big player alone as it has demonstrated over the last few years in red-ball cricket.
India has been the most successful side in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship and qualified for the final with 12 wins out of 17 games, which included 5 series victories out of 6.
Axar Patel gave examples of the recent series in Australia and against England at home, both of which India won under different circumstances but he also pointed out how the team performed as a unit in all the victories.
“When you have the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant in the top order and even if 2 out of the 5 batsmen get out early, you know the rest three can do the job.
“So, I think, this Indian team has that quality. It doesn’t depend on just one player. Everyone contributes equally. If openers don’t click, the middle-order performs. And if both the departments fail to score, lower-order provides the results. That’s the kind of team work and it’s our strength,” Axar was quoted as saying by India TV.
Axar, who is currently quarantining in Mumbai with the Indian Test squad, also highlighted how different players have stood up at different times when the going got tough but the team prevailed against all odds every time it was put to the test by the opposition.
“Our team had won the Test series in Australia when Virat wasn’t there. During the England series, Kohli got out early in a few innings but then Pant and Washington Sundar came up and performed. Rohit scored a couple of centuries as well. The spinners have also started batting down the order.
“You see how Shardul Thakur and Sundar made a partnership in Australia. And when you bat in England, you don’t chase big totals like 400 or 50. The total is around 300 or 250. So, that’s where the lower-order partnerships are important,” added the 27-year-old, who made his Test debut against England in February this year.
The 20-member Indian contingent led by Virat Kohli will leave for the United Kingdom after completing their 14-day isolation period next month. The Test team is scheduled to reach England on June 3.
After spending some time in managed isolation, the Indian Test team will lock horns with Kane Williamson’s New Zealand in the WTC final at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton from June 18. Kohli will then lead his side in a series of 5 Tests against England from August 4.