Axar Patel, the left-arm spinner from Delhi Capitals, have flown under the radar most of the time in last couple of years. After having made his name in T20 cricket during his stint with KXIP, the 26-year old was purchased by Delhi Capital ahead of 2019 season.
Axar, a bowler who is moulded in his state mate Ravindra Jadeja’s suit, has bowled in powerplays, in middle overs and sometime in death overs too and has done his job most of the times. But he has gone unnoticed in a bowling line up that boasts of the likes of Mishras, Ashwins and Rabadas. In the 86 matches of IPL, Axar has grabbed 75 wickets with an impressive economy of 7.32 and a strike rate of 23.96.
After Axar grabbed Man of the match award in Delhi Capitals win against Royal Challengers Bangalore last night, his fellow spinner Ashwin talked about how Axar done a wonderful job in initial overs to lay a strong platform.
“He always goes under the radar because he bowls those good overs, builds the pressure for someone else to capitalize on the wickets, so these are the heroes who get really appreciated inside the dressing room for us in Delhi Capitals and Ricky is very particular on that and we stick to the roles. When you get appreciated, people would want to hold onto their roles, ” Ashwin said after the match.
Coming into bowl in Powerplay, Axar Patel collected impressive figures of 18-2 in his four overs. On a wicket that was assisting finger spinners, Axar slowed down his speed, tossed up the ball and chipped away with 2 important wickets in a tall chase.
“I knew it was stopping on the wicket. I knew I would bowl in the powerplay and I had practiced for it as well. I think I executed my plans really well. My plan after speaking to batsmen was that since the wicket was slow, I wanted to bowl at the stumps and vary the pace. In the powerplay I was in a mood to defend at first, but when the third ball spun I changed gears and got into an attack mode,” Axar said after receiving the Man of the Match award.