SRH vs DC in IPL 2021: After spending three weeks in isolation following his COVID-19 diagnosis, Delhi Capitals’ Axar Patel made a comeback in the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad. While many had doubts whether he would be able to find his form that he had against England in the Test series, he silenced everyone with a 2/26 in his four overs on Sunday. He utilised the MA Chidambaram pitch well to extract advantage and scalp two quick wickets to leave SRH reeling. It was a fine comeback for the spinner who demolished the England batsmen with his bowling in the Test series.
After exiting the quarantine, Axar Patel had just four net sessions to fine-tune his bowling and get his rhythm back. He did that and was one of the pillars of the Delhi Capitals’ win, especially in the Super Over.
“I was ready from my end. The team management told me that if I could play after recovering from COVID. They told me it’s your body, you will know better. So, I went for four practice sessions after leaving quarantine. Since the spinners were getting a lot of help in Chennai, team management told me I could play if I was ready. I told them, yes, I am ready and match fit. Then, they told me that if you are ready, you will play,” Axar Patel said at the post-match press conference on Sunday.
“I was bowling well before I was diagnosed with COVID like in the Test series and T20. So, I was carrying the same confidence. I wasn’t thinking much about anything else. It was obviously frustrating to spend those days in quarantine but I wasn’t thinking about that at all. Teammates were calling me every now and then, so I was trying to take the positives that when I go out, I will get my rhythm back and won’t think about my performance with the bat or ball. In the four net sessions that I got, I focused on my rhythm and I told them that I was ready to come back,” he added.
SRH vs DC in IPL 2021: ‘I wanted to bowl in the Super Over,’ Patel says
With chances of getting hit, not many trust spinners to bowl in the Super Over. But on Sunday, Axar Patel got the nod from Rishabh Pant after he managed to convince him and coach Ricky Ponting. He was superb, conceding only 7 runs in the Super Over to put Delhi in a competitive position.
“When we went back to the dressing room, I was thinking that spinners would be very effective on this wicket. First, the captain and coach thought Avesh Khan would be a better choice as left and right combination batters would be on the crease. But when we were heading back to the ground, I told Rishabh that I could also bowl. After that, he had a chat with Ricky Ponting and it was decided at the last moment that I would be bowling the Super Over,” Axar Patel said.
SRH vs DC in IPL 2021: ‘Focus was on bowling stump-to-stump,’ Axar says
However, there was a time in the match when Kane Williamson could have taken away the match from Delhi Capitals. The New Zealand captain is widely regarded as one of the best batsmen to play spinners and he did so with a fine 66-run knock on Sunday. But Axar Patel managed to keep him silent with some fine bowling.
“Everyone knows that Kane Williamson takes a bit of time when he comes to the crease. So, the plan was not to use any pace against him. The other thing was that when the ball comes slowly, he steps out and uses his wrist well. So, the plan was not to give him a lot of flight and maintain a flatter trajectory. I focused on bowling stump-to-stump. We knew that we were getting assistance from the pitch and if the batsmen did something innovative, we would plan accordingly,” Axar Patel said.