Axar Patel: Once I went in to bat then I had a chance to think about what was going on
Axar Patel had ordered a cup of coffee when the mysterious, but frustratingly familiar for the Delhi Capitals in IPL 2023, happened while there have been calls for Axar to play a more prominent position on a Capitals team that has had trouble with the bat.
Axar Patel had ordered a cup of coffee when the mysterious, but frustratingly familiar for the Delhi Capitals in IPL 2023, happened. David Warner, Sarfaraz Khan, and Aman Hakim Khan were all out of the game by Washington Sundar with the second, fourth, and sixth balls of his second over—the eighth of DC’s inning. And with that the Capitals went from a moderately stable position of 57/2 to 62/5.
There have been calls for Axar to play a more prominent position on a Capitals team that has had trouble with the bat. In Hyderabad however, he was tasked once more to support the middle and lower order but was pressed into service rather suddenly.
“I didn’t even realize what’s going on. I had just ordered coffee and I had to leave that cup of coffee as it was because I found out we had lost three wickets in one over, so I had to run and go straight into bat,”Axar said at the post-match presentation.
“Once I went in to bat then I had a chance to think about what was going on. [Manish] Pandey and I were there and Pandey said that the deeper we could take it the better it is because if we have some runs we can put up a fight.”
While Axar and Manish Pandey made a 69-run partnership for the sixth wicket, the coffee cup remained unattended near his seat. The 29-year-old adjusted his approach to hitting a run-a-ball 34 on a slow-playing pitch that forbade batters from hitting on the up.
As a result, the visitors were able to score 144, which turned out to be competitive enough for the Capitals to sneak home a seven-run victory – only their second of the season.
However, Axar’s work wasn’t finished for the evening. With his left-arm spin, he was the backbone of the defense, taking out both the skipper Aiden Markram and top scorer Mayank Agarwal for miserly returns of 2 for 21 from his four overs.
“Obviously [the pitch] was a little slow. The ball was stopping,”Axar said.
“Kuldeep [Yadav] and I have bowled in partnerships even on the Delhi wickets, so when I batted I thought that Kuldeep and I can trap the batters. So the more runs I could score the better for us. So that was the plan and the way Kuldeep and I bowled, we had fun. I keep bowling batters but getting him [Markram] with the slower ball, that I enjoyed more,”he said.
Axar’s all-round performances earned him the first Player of the Match award in what has been a forgettable first half of IPL 2023 for the Capitals.
On a personal level, however, Axar’s performance couldn’t have gone better, he sits second on DC’s batting (behind David Warner) and bowling (behind Kuldeep Yadav) charts, highlighting his all-around value to the team.
“Yeah, I need to make it bigger [his trophy cabinet] so that’s why I am collecting them now only, so I know how big I need to build it,”he joked.