India all-rounder Axar Patel relished the feeling of playing in front of the home crowd when he helped hosts register a comprehensive 10-wicket win over England in the pink-ball Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday.
Axar, playing in just his second Test, scalped five wickets on the second day of the day-night Test. This was Axar’s third five-wicket haul in a row as he had scalped six in the first essay and had picked five wickets in the second innings of the second Test as well.
The all-rounder was happy with his performance on the home turf and has now set sights on the fourth and final Test against England.
“I feel very happy as it was my second Test match and first in Motera and to perform in front of a home crowd in both innings felt good. Felt very good after performing in front of the crowd. And when local crowd cheer for you, your joy just multiply as my family had also come to watch me,” Axar told Hardik in a video posted on the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) website.
“I have played in front of the same crowd and my coaches were also there and it’s a special feeling to perform in front of them. The goal will be to take another fifer, but I will not say anything until I scalp five wickets in the next match,” he added.
Axar wants the wicket to remain the same for the fourth and final Test of the series.
“When it happens, it feels so easy. I am not thinking much. I want to continue this form. I am happy that if I am not contributing with the bat, I am doing it with the ball. My strength is to bowl wicket-to-wicket and not give batsmen room. I would want this wicket to remain the same for the final Test as well as I am picking up wickets,” Axar said after the match on Thursday.
Meanwhile, England, who are now 2-1 down in the four-match series, are out of the race for a place in the final of the ICC World Test Championship.
England has dropped to 64.1 percentage points on the points table, which is now led by India with 71 percentage points. New Zealand is assured of a place in the final with 70 percentage points.
India needs to either win or draw the last Test to stay ahead of Australia, who are in third place with 69.2 percentage points.