Axar Patel finished as the highest wicket taker in the first innings as Team India bundled out England for a mere 205, in the fourth match of the ongoing Test series, at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. 

Call it passion, call it overreaction; but some fans, on the back of Patel’s latest performances in this ground, are pushing for a re-rechristening of the biggest cricket venue in the world in his honour.

Inaugurated ahead of the previous Test match of the series – which was also played here with the pink ball, the stadium was rebranded as the Narendra Modi Stadium, in the presence of Union Minister Amit Shah and President Ram Nath Kovind. It was previously known as the Sardar Patel Stadium, as a tribute to the Iron Man of India.

And if some fans on Twitter were to have their way, the Patel moniker would soon be back, albeit in its Axar avatar.

Chalo, if not the Staidium, then at least a stand? Yes? No? Maybe?

Having made his debut just a couple of games ago, Axar Patel has already made a huge impact on his team’s fortunes. Virat Kohli’s men came back to lead the series 2-1, after being downed in the tour opener in Chennai. 

After an injury denied him the chance to play the first game, the left-arm spinner Axar picked up seven wickets (including five in the second innings) on his first outing. India won the game comfortably as his spin Partner R Ashwin too produced a Man of the Match performance. 

Upon subsequent arrival in his home state of Gujarat for the third match, he justified the local hero tag by picking up 12 wickets in the next match at the Narendra Modi Stadium, fashioning two 5-wicket hauls.

Had he picked up another wicket in the first innings of the ongoing Test match, he would’ve become the first Indian bowler to grab four back-to-back five-fers since since Harbhajan Singh almost exactly 20 years ago.

Regardless, his impressive performances now mean he has 22 wickets, half-way into the third match of his Test career. Australia’s Charles Turner aka Terror remains the fastest bowler to 50 wickets in Test history, by doing so in just six matches. 

The record dates back to 1887, and the only one who came close in recent memory was Vernon Philander of South Africa, in 2012. Stuart MacGill of Australia is the quickest on the list, among spinners from the modern era. 

If Axar manages to surpass Terror, then we should expect at least a change.org campaign for the re-rechristening, right? 

Will he be able to do it though? Only time will tell. He’s certainly made a promising start. 

Match summary: India (24-1) trail England (205 all out) by 181 runs in the first innings