And the left-handed hitter continued his rich vein of form in the final test by breaking his third fifty of the series. Axar (79) put on a huge 162-run stand with Virat Kohli for the sixth wicket to help India take a 91-run first-innings lead.
Axar and Kohli both displayed their composure during their stand and stepped up their game after India took the lead.
But the versatile Gujarat player said there was no specific message from the dressing room and Kohli told him to keep playing positively.
“When I was batting with Virat bhai, there was no specific message from the team. Virat bhai told me to keep playing positively, as I do. Once we were ready, the bowlers only received not much help off the pitch too Once I was ready I would connect the deliveries that were on my radar.
“Virat bhai was also saying 50 is now over and I can see big as there were 22 overs left in the game for the day. There was no message regarding the statement or fast play. The way the pitch was and he was hitting over 150 and I was over 50, so the runs were coming in flow.”
Axar scored 264 points with three hits over fifty with an astonishing average of 88 – the highest in the current game.
Even though the Motera track is considered calm, the 22-yard strips at Jamtha and Kotla posed their own challenges and the southpaw was in for it.
“When we started with the camp in Nagpur, we knew we were going to play on rotating tracks. I didn’t prepare or plan much but did my own study to play on rotating tracks,” Axar said. to the media after the end of the fourth day. play in the fourth and final test here.
So what was the basic plan he followed?
“I just prepared to stand on the stump to keep an eye out for possible forefoot and stumps, since those are the two patterns of kickbacks that can occur on the turning lanes. I also planned not to not go out too much against off-spinners. I was preparing for those things before the series started,” Axar said of his plans.
The easy-going all-rounder laughed when asked if he regretted missing out on a possible three centuries.
“You rubbed salt on the wounds (laughs). The way I was batting…and I know the chances I missed don’t come often. Bade run karne the (must have scored big).
“The positive thing is that I hit the way I wanted and we had a good partnership (with Virat Kohli) when the team needed it. I think what you said (smiles again) but I don’t “Don’t think about it too much right now. I might feel (bad) about it more when I get back in the room.”
The next possible test match could be World Trials Championship The final against Australia at the London Oval and India might just go in with just one spinner and that might be Ravindra Jadeja.
“What you say about my place in the XI (for the WTC Finals) is out of my hands and I can’t do anything about it. I’m playing within the chances I have and I’m concentrating on what’s in my hands. The coach and captain decide the XI and my job is to be consistent and earn that spot in the XI.”
“You only wanted five-day tests”
The first three Tests ended well in three days and a question arose if he is surprised that the game has entered the fifth day.
“After the first three matches, everyone said the match was over in three days. Now the match is going to day five, and you say it’s a surprise. It’s not in our hands “, said Axar.
“We thought we would get the wicket buy, but we didn’t. We have to play according to the wicket. We were a bit surprised that only the first innings ended in the first four days. There is not much we can do and can hope that we come tomorrow and win,” he concluded.
(With PTI inputs)