Axar Patel has stated that Rishabh Pant calls him Wasim Bhai is because of his arm ball that resembles the action of the great Wasim Akram. The Gujarat all-rounder has also added that he wanted the English batsmen to go for shots and commit errors after he created pressure with his accuracy.
Axar Patel was a true differentiator in the third Test, with his 11-wicket game forcing England to a situation where they committed errors on a regular basis. So much so that, India never missed Ravindra Jadeja in the series so far as Axar stepped in nicely to fill in the void. During the Test, on the stump mic, it was captured that Rishabh Pant was repeatedly calling him Wasim Bhai as a word of encouragement, and just after the game, Axar revealed the reason behind the same.
“They call me Wasim bhai (Wasim Akram) because they feel my arm ball is very lethal. Ajju Bhai (Ajinkya Rahane) called me that and Pant has picked it up. I would want this wicket to remain the same for the final Test as well as I am picking up wickets,” Axar said in the post-match presentation.
In the last few years, Axar has been prioritizing limited-overs cricket over the longest format of the game, but as the chance beckoned, he proved to be one of the biggest assets for the Indian team in this series. On being asked about the same, Axar stated that he just wants to continue his prodigious form.
“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 him room. The mindset of batters is they play out a couple of maidens, they either go for a sweep or try to hit over the infield,” the left-arm spinner concluded.