Former India National Cricket Team leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan lavished praise on the spin-bowling all-rounder Axar Patel, saying that he knows his limitations and has a sharp cricketing mind.
Axar Patel will be seen in action in the upcoming India tour of Bangladesh 2022. The tour consists of a three-match ODI series and a two-match Test series. The ODIs will be played on December 4, 7 and 10 while the Tests will be played from December 14 to 18 and from December 22 to 26.
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Speaking ahead of the first ODI, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan said that the left-armer Axar Patel will be his first-choice spinner in the playing XI in the ODI series against Bangladesh.
“For me, I will pick Axar, who’s a good cricketing brain as well. Despite being talented, he knows his limitations. He knows he is not a big turner of the ball. He bowls a good line and length and is a sharp cricketing mind. He knows how to get wickets by tying them down and bowls a really good arm ball.”
“I would pick Axar as he’s got the ability to bat, is aware of the match situation, and doesn’t get under pressure most of the time. But somebody like Shahbaz (Ahmed, fellow left-arm spin all-rounder), you might think, yes Bangladesh. But don’t take them lightly as one knows what happened in 2007,” he said to IANS in an exclusive interaction organised by Sony Sports Network.
Laxman Sivaramakrishnan further talked about the wrist-spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, who are not part of India’s ODI squad for the Bangladesh series.
“As far as Kuldeep and Chahal are concerned, Kuldeep cried after he was carted all over the park (by Moeen Ali for 26 runs off five balls in IPL 2019) and everyone went after him post that point in the game. As the batters went after him, they hit a couple of sixes and put his morale down. About Chahal, how much success he has been in the 50-over format in the recent past? You can be economical in the middle overs like I spoke about Washington Sundar,” added Sivaramakrishnan.
You need good planning, and skills and need to trust a cricketer to get you wickets – Laxman Sivaramakrishnan
The 56-year-old further cited an example from his playing days and said that the Indian team management should show trust and faith in the skills of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.
“When I played World Championship of Cricket in 1985, Sunil Gavaskar gave me the license and said, ‘go bowl ten overs, even if you give 50-55 runs’. That was very expensive at that point in time and he said, ‘I want two-three-four wickets from you. Ravi (Shastri) will bowl with you in tandem and he will keep it tight and create that pressure. I want you to bowl for four wickets’.”
“Between mine and Ravi’s ten overs, he would say that between 20 overs from both of you, I want 100 runs and four or five wickets. I worked to break the backbone of the opposition and that happened. It was a plan, and it happened from match number one till the finals. Apart from finals, we got every team all out under 50 overs. You need good planning, and skills and need to trust a cricketer to get you wickets. No matter how many runs you give these days, batsmen will chase it,” he stated.
India National Cricket Team captain Rohit Sharma recently said it’s impossible to field the best team all the time due to a jam-packed schedule. However, Sivaramakrishnan wants India to field their strongest possible team in all the matches in the build-up to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, which will be held in India in October-November.
“Every victory will give you confidence, the combination will settle down automatically and your processes can go out of the window. You will find a team that sets in and is high on confidence and in a match-winning habit. Any habit you have to form over a period of time and the winning habit has to be formed over a period of time. The process and all those things can happen over in the nets.”
“When you are playing an international match, you have to play your best side, the best combination for the conditions that are there and you have to play to win. When you are going to the World Cup and are going to play 20 One-day Internationals before that, you can’t win every one of them, that I agree.”
“If you have 80% or 15 victories out of 20, and that too good victories, with people like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, K.L Rahul coming into good form, and in the bowling department, Bumrah makes a comeback at some stage and he gets into form because what you do in a match situation is totally different from nets.”
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