Axar Patel might not have found steep success in IPL 8, but he still holds his head up high. The talented left arm spinner in an interview admitted that his premier ambition was to represent India in test matches. Axar had a bright start to his international career and in 13 ODI’s he has 16 wickets to his name. Patel even featured in India’s World Cup squad but didn’t get a game.
Patel in an interview said, “World Twenty20 is the main target since it’s a World championship and India will be hosting it. But if I can get selected for the Test series against South Africa, it will be a huge achievement,” Axar told ESPNcricinfo. “I have played in ODIs so far, if I can earn the India cap in the remaining two formats this season, it would be a great reward.”
“Even though I didn’t feature in the Test squad for the Bangladesh tour, I am working hard on earning the Test cap. I don’t want to be tagged as a limited-overs cricketer. I want to establish myself in all three formats of the game. That would make me a complete cricketer. So earning a Test cap would be the biggest achievement, I hope it would come soon,” said Patel.
Axar was picked for the Australia tests, when fellow all rounder Ravindra Jadeja was injured. Axar spoke about the different patches he endured and how he would learn from the patches. “When things weren’t going my way, especially while batting in the ODIs, the manner in which the whole squad stood behind me taught me that come what may, you have to keep backing yourself,” he said.
“All the coaching staff and senior players gave me the confidence that one bad match doesn’t mean you are a bad player. When you are selected for India, you are special and you have to trust your abilities. One good ball by the bowler or a patch of bad form doesn’t make you a bad cricketer,” said Axar.
Axar also discussed about his bowling in IPL 8 and said, “I knew that the batsmen will try and target me,” he said. “Most teams try and target the main bowler of a team, so I was prepared for that. But I feel when I was introduced into the attack, the momentum had already been with the batting side most of the time.
“It was obviously easier for the batsmen to attack me. But at the most, I conceded at the odd boundary every over. Otherwise I managed to restrict most of the batsmen to singles. But when there isn’t a bowling partnership, I knew I was handicapped. When runs are being scored in heaps from the other end, it becomes a lot difficult to contain the batsmen,” said Patel.
The promising all rounder also praised skipper Dhoni. “I spoke a lot with Mahi bhai. He would help me improve bowling in match situations. He would make me understand a batsman’s mindset at different times in an innings and help me set fields that would force the batsman to play according to my plans. He let me express myself and then trap a batsman with a specific field, even in the nets.”