Former India player turned commentator Ajay Jadeja feels that it is extremely difficult to choose between Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja as the left-arm spin-bowling all-rounder for the longer format. While Ravindra Jadeja is currently sidelined due to a knee injury and is not taking part in India’s Test squad against Bangladesh, Axar Patel claimed five wickets across the two innings in the first Test, including a crucial spell of 4/77 in the second innings as well.
During a discussion on Sony Sports, Ajay Jadeja was asked if a succession plan is available if India wants to look at the future, to which he replied:
“All players are good. In fact, his (Axar’s) numbers are the best. What he did in this first match, whether he played in India, and the one match he got overseas now, his numbers are the best. He had an average of 12 in India, even Ashwin does not have that, no bowler has it in India.”
He also highlighted that both Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja bring similar skills to the table. Meanwhile, Axar Patel has picked up 44 wickets at a great average of 13.00 in the seven Tests he has played so far. He has accounted for 39 scalps at an even better average of 12.43 in six home Tests as well.
“There is no better bowler than both of them when the surface is dangerous” – Ajay Jadeja
He shared: “It is extremely difficult to pick between the two. Both are left-armers and it is not that they have different skills. Kuldeep Yadav beats the batters in the air, both of them beat the batters from the surface. They need the surface.”
However, Ajay Jadeja picked one factor that could help to choose between the experienced two spinners. He also feels the transition should only happen if someone is better than the other in future. He added:
“There is no better bowler than both of them when the surface is dangerous but if the surface is flat and there is no help from the surface, then who is better between the two, that will be one factor to decide. Ravindra has scored big runs in batting and Axar has shown potential. There is no comparison in fielding. Do a transition if you feel someone will get better. If you feel the game is what you have seen for the last two to four years, then go with today’s performance,” Ajay Jadeja concluded.