Will The Drama Of Duke And SG Ball Happen Again? Axar Patel’s Shocking Statement Just Ahead Of WTC Final

India’s star all-rounder, Axar Patel, acknowledges the challenges of transitioning from the fast-paced T20 format to the more traditional Test cricket. However, he believes the players’ exposure to the red ball during their IPL practice sessions will prove advantageous in the highly anticipated World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia. As the Indian team shifts their focus from IPL’s T20 cricket to the Test format, they face adapting to England’s playing conditions and the Dukes ball, which differs from the SG ball used in India.

During their IPL preparations, the Indian players were already aware of the upcoming shift to Test cricket. Discussions and plans were made within the team to practice with the red ball during the IPL itself. Axar Patel reveals that the team had access to red balls and used them to simulate Test conditions.

Axar said in a conversation with the ICC, “We knew about it even before the start of the IPL. That’s why there was discussion during IPL also that we will bowl with the red ball. We had red balls, so we used them. You know when and how to play, how much time you have. It is difficult to switch mentally from white ball to red ball, but we have enough time.”

Axar Patel emphasizes the importance of focusing on individual talent and skills during this transition. Irrespective of the ball used, executing game plans and delivering the ball at the right length remain crucial aspects of success in Test cricket.

Axar said, “We switch from white ball to red ball format. Similarly, we have to switch from SG to Duke Ball. You have to focus on your talent and skills. The most important thing is to execute your plan. Whatever the ball, the focus should be on throwing it at the right length.”

The Indian players who did not participate in the IPL playoffs were afforded extra time to prepare for the WTC final. This additional time allows them to fine-tune their skills and adapt to the nuances of playing with the Duke’s ball. Patel believes this extended preparation period will help the team overcome potential obstacles.

Axar said, “Those who could not qualify (for IPL playoffs) got more time. So I don’t think there will be any problem as we have a good time to prepare. The difference is Duke’s ball shines longer. But during IPL, we ordered the ball, so we practiced with it and got used to it.”

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Unlike the spin-friendly pitches in India, England’s conditions favor swing bowling, placing greater emphasis on the role of fast bowlers. Patel acknowledges the variation in conditions and the adjustment required for the team to excel in England.

On this, Axar said, “Obviously, the conditions are different in India and England. Fast bowlers have more roles here, and spinners are more important in India. The conditions are the same for both teams. In England, the wind helps swing bowling, and if you bowl in the right places, you get a good bounce. The team is slowly coming together. So the plan will go ahead. We will leave the responsibility of planning to the bowling coach.”

The Indian team will need to swiftly acclimate to the cooler weather conditions in England, having previously played the IPL in the scorching heat. Axar Patel expresses his excitement about climate change, noting the relief from the sweltering Indian temperatures. With the shift to a more temperate environment, the players can shed their winter clothing and enjoy the cool breeze. The pleasant weather provides an added advantage as they prepare for the final.

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