IND vs AUS: Axar Patel ‘was a bit upset’ on missing out on ODI World Cup due to injury

The 29-year-old was part of the Indian team in the run-up to the World Cup but an injury during the Asia Cup forced him out, and Ravichandran Ashwin replacing him in the 15-member squad.

Published : Dec 02, 2023 11:30 IST , Raipur - 4 MINS READ

Axar Patel celebrates the wicket of Australian batter Travis Head.
Axar Patel celebrates the wicket of Australian batter Travis Head. | Photo Credit: PTI

Axar Patel celebrates the wicket of Australian batter Travis Head. | Photo Credit: PTI

Axar Patel posed plenty of questions with the ball as the Australian batters were left searching for answers with the left-arm spinner picking a three-wicket haul during India’s 20-run win during the fourth T20I in Raipur.

Axar was one of the chief architects as India sealed the five-match series with a 3-1 margin and the bowling all-rounder made a strong statement after being snubbed by the selectors. After posting a challenging 174 for nine in 20 overs, Axar led the challenge of defending the total and helped India restrict Australia to 154 for seven in 20 overs.

The 29-year-old lost his place to Ravindra Jadeja and was dropped from the T20I touring party to South Africa. But the spinner, with a superb show, walked away with the Player of the Match award, thereby silencing his critics.

Read | India beats Australia by 20 runs to win series

“See I can’t control those things and selection is something that is not in my hands. Obviously Jaddu bhai (Ravindra Jadeja) is back and I am pretty much normal with how things have panned out. I have proved myself time and again and it’s the selectors call. I followed the same drill and was glad to pick wickets,” Axar said.

Missing the World Cup

The bowling all-rounder walked in with an aura of confidence, wearing a smile and joking around with a handful of scribes. While the ambience was joyous, Axar was still hurting on missing the World Cup due to an injury.

“It hurts and I was a bit upset that I had to miss the World Cup due to an injury and that too the World Cup was happening in India. I was a little down for about five to 10 days but gradually I started training and was very happy that the team was doing really well. But somewhere I was disappointed that due to an injury I had to miss a World Cup and it was frustrating that I couldn’t do much. But it’s part and parcel of the game,” he said.

Axar picked his first three-wicket haul in the ongoing five-match series and was relatively a happy man after being taken to the cleaners in the previous outing where he conceded 22 runs in the penultimate over which eventually proved costly as Australia won a thriller in Guwahati.

Coming into the fourth T20I, Axar varied his lengths, worked on delivery speeds and accounted for the wickets of Travis Head, Ben McDermott and Aaron Hardie to derail Australia’s run-chase.

Read | Needed to bowl stump to stump to negate dew factor, says Axar

“There was nothing much change in my bowling and I bowled exactly the same how I did in the last three matches. Yes, I am varying the speed of my deliveries and slipped in the slower ones and sticking to line and length was crucial.”

Comeback from injury

The 29-year-old further said that he did take some time to adjust while making a comeback after nursing an injury.

“If you are away from international cricket for some time due to injury and then come back, you try to prove yourself and you also have to look after your body, so I also took one match at a time,” he said.

“When you come from injury you try to keep that part of the body safe. You are not able to give your full effort. It stays in the back of my mind. It doesn’t happen in that way because the trainer already tells you that nothing will happen but while sprinting, you feel what if something happens again to the quadriceps.”

Bishnoi the ‘X factor’

Ravi Bishnoi has been a revelation, snaring seven wickets including a three-wicket haul in this series and the leg-spinner has bowled in tandem with Axar inside the PowerPlay. The duo has complemented each other well and Axar heaped praise on his bowling partner.

“Bishnoi has bowled well throughout the series and our partnership has been good. We have bowled well in tandem, and the combination was very good. The speed in which he bowls is the X-factor, and he was troubling the Australians with his leg-spin and the googly. It’s always nice to bowl along with Bishnoi,” he said.

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