IND vs ZIM: It’s little tough when you play two matches and suddenly you’ve to sit out, says Axar Patel
IND vs ZIM: Axar Patel wants to put his best foot forward in an effort to take advantage of any opportunity that comes his way, even though it is “a bit tough” to cool his heels after a couple of games.
The left-arm spinner, who is a like-for-like replacement for Ravindra Jadeja and a solid lower middle-order batsman, is still not a regular for India despite having taken more than 50 wickets in ODIs since 2014.
“It is a little tough when you play two matches and suddenly you’ve to sit out,” Axar said at the post-match press conference after India’s 13-run win over Zimbabwe in the third ODI.
“And then again you play two or three matches. It’s tough but I back myself and train my mind to think that this is the opportunity for you to do well,” he added.
The Indian team management, which has a wealth of talent at its disposal, rotates cricketers in an effort to bolster its bench for the future and control the strain of its best players.
In such circumstances, Axar believes it is vital to have a positive outlook and view every game as an opportunity.
“If I do well here, I’ll get to play the next game. I can also play with the (cribbing) mindset that I get dropped after getting a couple of opportunities but I take it in a positive way that I’m getting an opportunity to perform for India. If I do well, I’ll improve myself. So it’s on you how you take it.”
India completed a 3-0 sweep of hosts Zimbabwe on Monday.
In his 10 overs, which included an unusual first-over, the left-arm spinner took two wickets and conceded 30 runs in the third ODI.
“I thought this used pitch was a little bit dry and had something for the spinners. And I bowled from the other end and tried to bowl the (on) stump lines. I was just waiting for the batter to commit some mistake and fortunately I got a maiden.
Shubman Gill got a 130 from 97 balls for his first ODI century.
“The way he’s batting, the way he’s converting singles and doubles. The way he’s not playing a lot of dot balls, that to me is the biggest positive,” Axar said.
“When he’s batting, there are always singles and twos coming and he’s able to put the bad balls for boundaries. He plays spinners well, rotates the strike and even plays the sweep and reverse sweep well.”
In the three-match series, Axar thought the Indian bowlers carried out their strategies.
“The bowlers were executing their plans. It was good to see the way Avesh (Khan) was bowling the yorkers and slower ones. The way Shardul (Thakur) was mixing up his slower ones and wide yorkers.
“Deepak (Chahar) got three wickets in his comeback match. The way we were executing the plans was a big positive,” he concluded.