Indian Premier League

Mantra for success: keep it simple

Axar Patel.   | Photo Credit: Pal Pillai / IPL

Axar Patel may not have got a game during the World Cup, but he has learnt his lessons well.

Those lessons are now helping him at Kings XI Punjab in the current season of the Indian Premier League.

With a last-ball four to tie the match against table-topper Rajasthan Royals, which his team eventually won in a Super Over, Axar reinforced his growing reputation as a handy all-rounder for the Kings XI. The 20-year old left-arm spinner from Gujarat is, however, grounded.

“It was exciting to win, especially against the top-ranked side in the tournament. After two consecutive losses, it was an important victory for us, coming as it did against a good side; it was a great boost for the entire team. Hopefully, we can carry on the momentum from here on,” Axar said in an interaction with The Hindu.

“But, I was not worried about the match. I was thinking ‘if I could bat normally and take the game to the wire, we could win’. With Mitchell Johnson and me at the crease, I knew we could bat. We needed 24 runs in the last two overs, but I was not thinking of the total. I was only thinking of every ball and scoring runs off it. There was nothing pre-planned about the batting,” Axar, who has six wickets in five games so far, said.

As for the World Cup, he takes several positives from the tour despite not playing.

“Obviously, I was disappointed not to play, but it was a great experience. The fact that I got to share the dressing room with senior players in a major tournament like the World Cup, at such an early age, was motivating. The biggest lesson I learnt was to keep things simple and not over-plan anything,” Axar said.

Speaking about his interactions with M.S. Dhoni in Australia and Virender Sehwag in the KXIP side, Axar said instinctive players like them have helped him understand batsmen better.

He added that the senior players had helped him understand the batsmen’s view.

“I spoke a lot to Mahi, Rohit (Sharma) and Suresh (Raina). During practice, I would ask Mahi what his mindset was according to my field placings. He would say I was assuming the batsman’s actions and bowling with preset notions. Instead, I should let the batsman play and then decide what to do. He always said over-planning only led to extra pressure,” Axar said.

Axar, who was named emerging player of the tournament in the IPL last year with a haul of 17 wickets, is now keen on improving his batting as well.

His heroics in the previous game was a step in that direction.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 10:49:42 AM |

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