Axar Patel says IPL experience helps him in match vs. West Indies

All-rounder Axar Patel has said that his Indian Premier League (IPL) experience helped him secure his maiden fifty in the second ODI against West Indies. The half-century gave India a series-clinching victory in their second ODI against West Indies on Sunday.

The 28-year-old scored 64 not out off 35 balls. With his fifth six-run, he helped India claim the win with two balls to spare.

"It's very special. It came at a crucial time and also helped the team to win the series," Patel said after receiving the Man-of-the-Match award.

“When I went out, I aimed for 10-11 an over. We thought it could be done because of our IPL experience."

While Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson also scored half-centuries for India, the highlight was on Patel, who managed to claim a wicket with a left-arm spin.

Shikhar Dhawan replaced regular skipper Rohit Sharma in the match. He claimed the win gave them the confidence they needed to keep going.

"Our domestic and IPL cricket keep us ready ... As Axar said, he's done it multiple times in IPL,” Dhawan said.

Meanwhile, Patel said he would try to keep the momentum and achieve the same result for the team.

"We just needed to remain calm and keep the intensity up. This is my first ODI (series) after nearly five years. I would want to continue performing like this for my team,” he said.

Shai Hope scored 115 for West Indies in his 100th ODI. Captain Nicholas Pooran contributed 74, but it was not enough to help them win.

India and West Indies will face each other again for the third and final ODI on Wednesday, followed by a five-match T20 series.

Batting practice

In the past few years, Patel has been improving his hitting game under the guidance of head coach Ricky Ponting, assistant coach Pravin Amre, and former assistant coach Mohammed Kaif. His practice with them at DC helped him expand his stroke options.

“When he came to DC, he was perhaps a bit happy-go-lucky. But gradually, he realised that he would have to push even harder if he wanted to be consistently in the reckoning for India as an all-rounder,” Kaif said ahead of the 2022 IPL.

He said Patel always grasped the basics of both defence and attack.

Patel was referred to as Jayasuriya in his hometown, Nadiad, Gujarat, in his junior days.

Patel has spent more time working on his batting. His front foot often comes down towards mid-off while looking forward to hitting straight. As a result, although he has a good reach, the bat swing becomes obstructed, preventing him from batting the ball well.

“I was maintaining my shape,” Patel said.

“When you see you have to get so many runs and only so many balls are left, you can start thinking that I should loft the ball there, or that I can hit the sweep. But I keep talking to Ricky and I have worked on staying in the moment, about seeing the ball and hitting the ball. So that is what I was trying to do.”

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.