Axar Patel thanks Virat Kohli for allowing them to bowl with freedom

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Axar Patel thanks Virat Kohli for allowing them to bowl with freedom

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SportsCafe Desk


Axar Patel is all praise for his captain Virat Kohli for not pressurizing the bowlers unnecessarily, which allows them to experiment and bowl according to their own plans. The spinner also stated that he does not consider himself as a substitute for Ravindra Jadeja in the limited-overs format.

One of the most important reasons for India’s roaring presence on the international circuit of late can be attributed to India’s rising bowling stocks lately and not only the pacers, the fringe spinners have also come to their own and as a result of it, even the experienced duo of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja find themselves out of the team. Ahead of the second T20I in Rajkot, the left-arm spinner has thanked the Indian skipper for not burdening them with his own plans. 

“Obviously the captain backs you if you do well. I’ve been playing since the second ODI and he (Kohli) has been supporting me to bowl with a free mind. He allows you to bowl with a free mind and set the field accordingly. And if it doesn’t work out, he gives suggestions. Obviously, you feel better and have a free mind if the captain backs you,” Axar said, reported PTI.

After winning the first ODI in Mumbai, New Zealand’s fortunes have gone down as they lost the remaining two ODIs and suffered a 53-run defeat in the first T20I – their first against India in the shortest format. But the visitors' only victory on the tour has been highlighted for the way their batsmen, especially Tom Latham and Ross Taylor, handled the Indian spinners. Axar Patel also acknowledged the same and conceded that the Indian bowlers changed their strategy against Latham after that.

“In the first ODI, they did well, playing the sweep shot a lot. We got a bit of an idea that their plan is to sweep against spinners. So in the next game, our strategy was to use the angle – over the wicket, round the wicket and then to confuse them, pitch one ball fuller and other a bit shorter. So accordingly, we had planned.”

Axar, who is currently the third in the list of preference behind Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, stated that he is not worried about his place in the team, and is taking it one game at a time.

“I take it match by match. I don’t think like I have to cement my place in the team. I think that there is just this match for me and if I do well here, automatically I will get the next game. I already have a place in the team, that’s why I am playing.

“The role is more or less same. The wrist spinners are more attacking as they normally get more turn. So their role is to take wickets in middle overs. For finger spinners, the role is to contain and not let the partnership build. If there is no partnership, the pressure won’t be on bowlers. So if we can exert pressure from both ends, there are more chances of picking up wickets.”

Saturday’s game will be played in Rajkot, which also happens to be Axar’s home ground for the Gujarat Ranji team, and he admitted that he had an idea of how to bowl on this wicket.

“Since it’s my home ground, I have an idea how the wicket here is usually. I try to focus what I have been doing so far, the sort of I was doing in the IPL also. You won’t get much turn here. Usually, it’s skiddy and low bounce. So I know what I need to do. And I can also make my teammates aware about it.”

On being asked about whether he thinks himself as a substitute for Ravindra Jadeja, Axar said, "I have got a place in the team and that's why I am playing. I am of the view that if I do well in one game, I will automatically be picked in the next match."

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