'I was emotional to be amongst my close friends and teammates again since I was back in action after being in quarantine for 20 days, but everyone backed me to do well, and they trusted me even more than I trusted myself.'
Axar Patel starred with the ball in the Super Over to help Delhi Capitals edge past SunRisers Hyderabad in a thrilling IPL match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday.
The match finished in a tie after SunRisers levelled scores on 159/7 -- the same total as Delhi -- forcing the game into a Super Over.
Left-arm spinner Axar, who played his first match after recovering from COVID-19, was given the responsibility with the ball for Delhi Capitals in the Super Over. He did his job to perfection conceding just seven runs in the Super Over against SunRisers' duo of David Warner and Kane Williamson. Delhi Capitals chased down the runs easily through Rishabh Pant and Shikhar Dhawan for their fourth win in IPL 2021.
"After the scores were levelled, I told Rishabh (Pant) that I could bowl well on this wicket, and he could consider me for the Super Over as well. I knew that it was not going to be easy for the batsmen to score runs on this pitch. Then Rishabh spoke to (head coach) Ricky (Ponting) and they decided to give the ball to me," said the 27-year-old.
Axar said that he was emotional to be playing alongside his teammates again after spending nearly three weeks in quarantine.
"I was nervous before the game, but once I did some warm-up sessions with the team, I was fine. I was emotional to be amongst my close friends and teammates again since I was back in action after being in quarantine for 20 days, but everyone backed me to do well, and they trusted me even more than I trusted myself."
When asked if he changed his preparation plan for the match against SRH because of the 20-day quarantine period, Axar said, "I didn't change my preparation plan for this match in anyway. I followed the routine that I usually follow. I didn't think much about the fact that I am coming out of 20 days of quarantine. I just wanted to carry forward the rhythm I had in the Test series against England. and I wanted to stay in a positive frame of mind. Yes, I did practice more than usual because I came back after a break from cricket, but I followed my usual routines during practice."
The all-rounder expressed that the Delhi Capitals, who defeated Mumbai Indians in their previous match, couldn't have asked for a better outing in Chennai.
"We won two out of two matches in Chennai, so we couldn't have put in a better performance at this venue. And when a close match falls in the team's favour, then the team's confidence gets a major boost. We haven't discussed about our plans for the Ahmedabad leg yet. We are taking one match at a time and staying in the present as much as possible."
Delhi Capitals will next take on Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Narendra Modi Stadium, in Ahmedabad on Tuesday, 27 April 2021.