India vs West Indies: Axar Patel stakes claim for regular Team India berth | Cricket News

Playing one-day games after almost five years, the versatile stakes claim a regular spot as they propel India to a series win over the Windies
“Signed, sealed and delivered by Axar Patel.” Ian Bishop, former West Indies fast bowler turned commentator, couldn’t have chosen better words, shortly after Axar smashed a Kyle Mayers full throw on the ground – when six was needed from three balls – to secure a thrilling two-wicket victory for India in the second ODI against the West Indies in Port-of-Spain.
The winning left-arm effort with the bat—64 not out (35g, 4×4, 5×6)—which added to an economical spell with the ball (1-40 in 9 overs in a high-scoring game)—has helped India win the series 2-0. The third ODI at the same venue on Wednesday is now dead rubber.

For those not following this streak due to a lack of a star on the Indian side and a weak West Indian roster, Axar’s shot deserves attention and will be among the best in a chase for India. When he entered at No. 7, India, chasing 312, had 205 balls at 39, requiring 107 from 68 balls. With Shubhman Gill (43), Shreyas Iyer (63rd), Sanju Samson (54th) having failed to follow up for a big one, the visitors seemed in danger of losing it. Soon they needed 100 in the final 10 overs.
Realizing the increased stroke rate, Axar began his assault by pulling left arm spinner Akeal Hosein on the thin leg for six. The southpaw then hit Romario Shepherd for another high over the pitcher’s head to show his intentions. Even though he kept losing partners on the other end – Deepak Hooda (33), Shardul Thakur (3) and beginner Avesh Khan (10) – Gujarat man continued to clear the boundary easily. A straight six over a long stretch, on a slower Alazzari Joseph ball, stood out.
By crushing the second fastest ODI fifty, on 27 balls, by an Indian batsman against the West Indies, Axar snatched India’s triumph from the jaws of defeat, and without too much fuss. Those who know him say that this ability not to get bogged down in pressure comes easily to this cricketer from a small town in Nadiad, Gujarat.

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“I think it’s special. He came at a crucial time and also helped the team win the series. We did the same in the IPL. We just needed to stay calm and keep the momentum going. intensity,” Axar said. “I was playing an ODI after almost five years. I would like to continue playing like that for my team.”
Axar’s Close Confidant Vijay Patelwho was the coach when the latter made his debut for Gujarat, said: “Axar is a typical Nadiad lad. He never feels pressure. Small town kids are tough and fearless people.”
Describing Axar’s straightforward personality, Patel says: “I’ve known him since his less than 16 days for Gujarat. He’s very focused and mentally relaxed. Success or the Indian cap hasn’t changed him. He’s still very humble. We talked today. He was really happy. Sometimes when he comes to meet me, he sits on the floor with me. “Arey tu India player hai (you are an Indian player),” I tell him. He’s enjoying his life and enjoying cricket. He’s such a jovial character that the dressing room vibe is different when he’s there. He makes the other players enjoy with him.

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For someone who always only has a chance if Ravindra Jadeja, who offers a similar skill set, isn’t available, Axar used his chances. It can’t be easy, especially considering he played sporadically for India, sometimes going through tours without getting a game. Once again, this is a situation that does not discourage him.
“Some time ago there was a phase where Jadeja was doing so well that Axar seemed almost forgotten. However, he seemed completely relaxed about it. ‘Don’t worry sir. Aage dekh lenge (we’ll see in the future)’ he told me. He felt no pressure,” Patel says. “It makes no difference to him whether Jadeja is there or not. He only focuses on his own performance. Like I said earlier, he’s just relaxed and enjoying his game. It’s that attitude that helps him keep performing well.”

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