Axar Patel lauds the role of skipper Kohli and Ravi Shastri ahead of the 2nd T20I at Rajkot

"The wrist spinner gets turn on most wickets and his role is to attack more and try to take wickets in middle overs," Axar Patel said.

Axar Patel
Axar Patel. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Team India has been on a high after a win in the first T20 International against New Zealand at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi. They gave a superb tribute to pacer Ashish Nehra who was playing his final game. Winning the game by 53 runs, they put up a tremendous display in all the departments.

Left-arm spinner Axar Patel spoke to the reporters ahead of the second T20I at Rajkot which also happens to be his ground. In the pre-match press conference, he spoke about his place in the team, the contribution of Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri and how he intends to make a difference.


I do well in one game, I will automatically be picked in the next

The left-arm spinner who has been playing ever since Ravindra Jadeja was given an indefinite rest (that’s what the selectors say) reckons that he doesn’t see himself as a replacement.

“I have got a place in the team and that’s why I am playing. I am of the view that if I do well in one game, I will automatically be picked in the next match,” Patel said.

Kuldeep Yadav who was taken away to the cleaners in the first ODI at Wankhede hasn’t been persisted with ever since. The Indian team, as a result, brought in the all-rounder who has been doing a fair job ever since. The lanky left-arm orthodox had splendid figures of 2 for 20 in four overs in the first T20I.

“They played the sweep shot well in the first game. We knew that against spinners that was the strategy they will adopt and we formalised our strategy as per that by changing the angle by bowling over and round the wicket,” he added.

Skipper Kohli has given me the freedom to bowl what I want to

Axar pointed out that captain Virat Kohli had given both the spinners complete freedom to adopt their tactics which has given them a lot of confidence.

“The captain backs you when you do well. I have been playing from the second ODI. He gives me the freedom to bowl what I want to. He leaves it to on us to decide on what to do. He says if that plan doesn’t succeed even then I will back you, which gives us confidence to bowl with a free mind,” he stated.

Shastri has given me good pep talks

He also lauded Indian coach Ravi Shastri and told how instrumental he had been in his bits of advice.

“He knows my bowling style is different from his. He always says “you know how to bowl and that’s why you are in the team and you continue to do that”. He says all that is mind game, how to handle situations under pressure. He gives me small tips,”

My role is to contain from one end and create pressure with Chahal

Speaking more about his role in the team, he described how he and Yuzvendra Chahal strategised to contain the opposition.

“My role is the same. The wrist spinner gets turn on most wickets and his role is to attack more and try to take wickets in middle overs. Finger spinner’s aim is to contain from one end. If pressure is put from both ends, there are more chances of getting the wickets,” said Patel.

I’ve an idea how the wicket will behave here

Axar who represents Gujarat in the Ranji Trophy is looking forward to playing at the Rajkot stadium which is Saurashtra’s home ground. The left-arm spinner tends to believe that this is his second home ground as he has played a number of matches here in the IPL playing for Kings XI Punjab.

“Obviously, it’s my home ground and I have some idea about how the wicket will behave from my experience playing IPL over here. There is not much turn on offer but it’s skiddy and there’s some bounce. I know how to bowl here,” he added.