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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Axar's redemption: World Cup heartbreak to T20s hero

Axar's redemption: World Cup heartbreak to T20s hero

Source: PTI
December 01, 2023 23:54 IST
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Needed to bowl stump to stump to negate dew factor: Axar Patel

Axar Patel

IMAGE: Axar Patel celebrates Travis Head’s wicket. Photograph: BCCI

It required a lot of mental fortitude to come back with an attacking mindset less than 72 hours after being clobbered, said spinner Axar Patel, who set up India's series win against Australia with superb figures of 3/16 in the fourth T20I in Raipur on Friday.

India have now taken an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.

Axar, who was hit for 22 runs in the penultimate over of the third T20I in Guwahti where India had failed to defend 222, was the chief architect in defense of a much lesser 174 for 9 in the fourth game.

 

"To stay attacking and be mentally strong is important as there is every chance to get hit in this format. When you go with an attitude to pick wickets, will feel much better," Axar said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

While there wasn't as much dew as it was at Barsapara the other night, Axar used his tried and tested formula of pitching it on the three sticks.

"I tried to stick to my strengths and wasn't really bothered even I had gotten hit and bowling stump-to-stump was the key to negate the dew factor."

Axar missed out on the World Cup after sustaining a hamstring injury during the Asia Cup and made a comeback for this series after extensive rehabilitation.

"I was trying a lot of things when I was at home and it came out well today. During the (injury) break I focussed on improving myself and add new variations to my bowling to remain successful at the highest level."

Skipper Suryakumar Yadav was also very happy that he was able to extract the best from his senior spinner.

"I always love putting Axar under pressure and the way he bowled was unbelievable. Other than toss, everything (went well)," he said with a chuckle.

"The boys showed character and that was most important for us. We spoke in the meeting before the game to go out and express yourself and be fearless."

He was also happy that Avesh Khan and Mukesh Kumar could nail the block-hole deliveries on the day unlike the last match where Prasidh Krishna was all over the place.

"The plan (during the death overs) was to go for the yorkers and then see what happens."

Australian skipper Matthew Wade termed this series a learning curve for next year's T20 World Cup.

"We just didn't play spin very well, lost a few little too wickets in the middle as well. The guys came in did a good job but unfortunately we couldn't do the job with the bat.

"Just to continue to learn from the guys who are already established in the team and to have depth in the squad is really key as the T20 World Cup is round the corner." 

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