India’s stand-in skipper Virat Kohli, in an exclusive interview has praised Akshar Patel for performing exceedingly well in the ODI series against Sri Lanka. It was Akshar, who batted with responsibility in the fifth ODI along with Kohli and took India home. Kohli also hinted that the left-arm spinner could be preferred in the Indian side for the 2015 Cricket World Cup. He was the leading wicket-taker for India in the series with 11 wickets in five matches.

“Hopefully if he (Patel) keeps performing like that and shows his composure, he will probably be preferred over a couple of other people in the batting order. You never know when that change arrives. All I can say is I’m happy for him. Wish him all the luck and hopefully we’ll see him up the order in the upcoming series. He’s very confident. Even when I’m going to keep seven in the ring, he never says no. He’s always confident that he can still bowl to the field settings and come out on top and hold the batsman back,” Kohli said.

“He’s not scared which is the most important thing. He knows how to cramp them for room to hit big shots. He’s a very composed guy, a self-assured individual and at such a young age, he has so much self-belief expressing himself completely. The moment you have a bit of hesitation that’s when things start to go wrong but I don’t see anything of that with Akshar.” Kohli added.

“I’ve been really impressed with him. It was obviously something for a guy who knows how to bat and listen to the experienced guy and do what is required. More than this what he did in Cuttack was more astonishing for me.”

Kohli was referring to Akshar’s two sixes off Dhammika Prasad in the first ODI at Cuttack.