One of the biggest positive from India's imperious victory at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday against England was debutant Axar Patel who joined an elusive list alongside teammate Ravichandran Ashwin after bagging a five-wicket haul in his maiden Test appearance.
Axar, who picked the wicket of Joe Root in both the innings in the Chennai Test, dismissed Dom Sibley, Jack Leach on day 3 of England's second innings before getting rid of Ollie Pope and Olly Stone in the second session to help India fold the visitors for 164.
Axar, which his five-for, after conceding 60 runs, joined Ashwin in an elite company of seven other bowlers who have all taken a five-wicket haul on Test debut with Narendra Hirwani being the only to manage the feat in both the innings of his debut Test. Axar is also the second Indian left-arm spinner after Dilip Joshi, who took 6 for 103 against Australia in Chennai in 1979, to join the list.
"It was a good experience, to get a five-wicket haul on debut is special. As Kuldeep said, there was much happening on the pitch. It was about varying your speed and I just kept doing it. Forced the batsman to make mistakes. On the first day itself, it was turning. So, we bowled tight lines and got the rewards," said Axar who missed the opener at the venue owing to an injury.
India will next face England at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad for their second day-night Test on home soil, starting February 24.