Akshar Patel aims at a World Cup spot

Akshar Patel aims at a World Cup spot

Akshar Patel aims at a World Cup spot: It was his consistent bowling exploits in domestic cricket, particularly in the IPL which earned Akshar Patel a ODI cap and ever since the Gujarat lad is delivering on promise. He first emerged as a rising star of the IPL and has been proving his caliber at various levels; the latest being the international arena where he has picked up 14 wickets from nine ODIs he has been a part of.

On Monday, he proved his batting talent with a match-winning unbeaten 64 off just 38 balls to help West Zone snatch the Deodhar Trophy semi-final away from South Zone.

Akshar Patel made his entry into competitive cricket in February 2012. (Photo Source: BCCI)
Akshar Patel made his entry into competitive cricket in February 2012. (Photo Source: BCCI)

This knock in the all important semi-finals of the Deodhar trophy will make the job of the national selectors that much more easier. The composure and maturity with which Patel batted in a game which was a rare off game for him with the ball as he went wicket less with the ball. The chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil & Co. were also present on the match day watching all the prospects from the sidelines.

Akshar Patel made his entry into competitive cricket in February 2012, playing a Vijay Hazare Trophy game for his state Gujarat against Maharashtra in Mumbai. He made his Ranji Trophy debut against Madhya Pradesh in November, 2012, but it was the only game that he played that season. Akshar played 7 matches in the 2013-14 Ranji Trophy and had a successful season. He scored valuable runs in the lower middle order and picked up 29 wickets with his accurate and wicket to wicket bowling and became Gujarat’s third highest wicket-taker that season.

The all-rounder from Gujarat admitted that World Cup selection was at the back of his mind. He said “Obviously it remains at the back of the mind; I am focusing more on the tournaments that I am playing. After this, we will be playing the Ranji Trophy and if I keep performing, there will be a chance of being picked for the World Cup.”

The selectors will be meeting to discuss the World Cup probables on December 4 and Akshar is surely going to make in the list of 30. In fact, he has now become a strong contender who could be picked in the squad of 15 ahead of Karn Sharma and Amit Mishra for the 3rd spinners spot. The selectors will pick the World Cup team in the first week of January.

Akshar debuted for India on 15th June 2014 against Bangladesh, and his stint with the India squad has made him a more confident cricketer overall. “When Virat Kohli appreciates you, it helps. Being selected to play against Sri Lanka and my performance with the bat and the ball was good. Playing for India gives the confidence a boost and teaches you to play under pressure and it helps in matches like today.” he said.

Akshar has evolved into a very useful player for India, his presence will not only build pressure on R Ashwin and R Jadeja to fight for the spot but also brings in that much more variety and balance into the team. For someone who started playing cricket just 4 years ago and being a certain player for the World Cup call is a huge achievement in very little time. If things go as they have been set up who knows he might become skipper MS Dhoni’s first choice. (Also to read India’s Probable Squad for WC 2015)