After India’s 56-run win over the Netherlands, they will take on South Africa in their next match of the Super 12 stage of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 at the Optus Stadium on Sunday, October 30.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja’s void is hard to fill, but the Indian team management has asked Axar Patel to be mentally prepared as he needs to bat in the top order when required.
I Was Asked To Go Since Our Top Six Are Right Handers – Axar Patel
With India’s batting line-up consisting of all right-handers in the top 6 and wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant out of the picture, they needed a left-handed batter to counter-attack the opposition. Axar was sent at No.5 against Pakistan, but the move didn’t pay off as he was run out for just one run.
“They (Pakistan) had left-arm spinner Nawaz and leg-spinner Shadab so it was important to send a left-hander and I was asked to go. Since our top six are right handers, I have been told by management that if need be I will be promoted in the middle overs and I should be ready for that. That role is already assigned and I have performed in practice games,” he said.
The Pitch Was Bit Dry And The Ball Was Stopping And Coming – Axar Patel
Axar Patel took 2 wickets and conceded just 18 runs in 4 of his overs quota against the Netherlands after a nightmare over against Pakistan. The left-arm spinner was hit for three sixes by Iftikhar Ahmed and bounced back well against the Dutch. He said that he had been able to reset his mind and was confident ahead of the Netherlands match.
“The pitch was a bit dry and the ball was stopping and coming. The ball wasn’t exactly gripping so I was told to hit the deck hard as it was difficult to hit through the line. So that was the plan,” Axar said.
I Analyzed And Out Of Three Sixes, Only Bowled One Bad Ball – Axar Patel
Axar said that when he analyzed the Pakistan match, he found that it was an odd game where the batsmen had the upper hand and he needed to get over the disappointment quickly.
“After the Pakistan game, I sat with video analysts and bowling coach. Actually, there will be days when a batter would take chance against you. I analyzed and out of three sixes that were hit against me, I only bowled one bad ball. You will have those days, but if you keep on thinking then you can’t survive,” he added.
The game will be played at the Perth Stadium and the pacers will have a good carry on the wickets, especially with Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje in operation. South Africa will have multiple left-handers in the top order, and Axar’s matchups against that team have not been great, as he has conceded almost nine runs per over against them. He said, “I am not thinking too much about SA game. Will go there and then take a call and what needs to be done.”
Also read: IND vs SA: “I Will Even Go To Mars If India And Pakistan Play There” – Farokh Engineer