India is set to face Australia in the first of 4 test matches starting on Thursday. The blockbuster series gets underway with huge both the teams having huge stakes on offer. While Australia is more or less through to the WTC final, the Indian team will want a favorable series result to get there. In case of a series draw or Australian win, South Africa will head to the final of the WTC.
Steve Smith expected to lead the Australian batting –
33 year old New South Wales batter Steve Smith will be looked upon to lead the Australian batting. Smith has a good record against India both at home and away. The lasty time Australia toured India, it was Smith who was the captain. The maverick right hander scored 499 runs from the series as India took the honors with 2-1 result.
Irfan Pathan names the bowler who can trouble Smith –
Former Indian all rounder, Irfan Pathan has named Axar Patel as the bowler who could trouble Smith. While speaking to the official broadcasters Star Sports India, the 38 year old said “The challenge of Steve Smith will be there for Indian cricket but I think one guy, which I have a great feeling, who can actually have the numbers against him is Axar Patel. If he plays regularly all the matches, the kind of trajectory he has, he can be a big threat to him”
Line and Length the strength for Axar Patel –
Axar Patel has been in red hot form for India with the bat and ball in recent times. Since his comeback to the side in 2021, he has become an integral part of the side across formats. Axar Patel has also become an amazing bowler in the red ball format and a third spoke in the wheel. Pathan further said “The line and length he bowls, the straight ball he bowls, he can bring the lbw or bowled into play against Steve Smith, especially because he uses his bottom hand a lot. A bowler who continuously bowls at the stumps can prove to be an alarm bell against such a player, that is Axar Patel,”Axar Patel has played 8 tests for India and picked 47 wickets with the ball. The 29 year old has 5 five wicket hauls and 1 ten wicket haul with a best of 6/38. With the bat, Axar has scored 249 runs with a best of 52 and an average of 22.