In series-winning knock against WI: Axar has also gotten better at targeting the wide yorkers that are intended to keep him from slogging past midwicket.
Axar Patel has played just six Tests, 40 ODIs, and 23 T20Is in the eight years since his international debut because he has been Ravindra Jadeja’s primary understudy. And in the few games, he has played, his white-ball run-squeeze and red-ball five-fors have received all of the attention.
His hitting has only recently started to attract some attention, probably in the last couple of years. His unbeaten 64 off 35 balls, a first-ever ODI half-century that helped India defeat the West Indies in the ODI series on Sunday in Trinidad, provided additional proof of that potential.
Remarkably, in the final over of an Indian Premier League match between the Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings in Sharjah in October 2020, Axar hit Jadeja for three sixes. He demonstrated all sides of his batting repertoire in the Mumbai Test against New Zealand last December, scoring his first Test century with a patient 52 off 128. India was attempting to declare after scoring a Test fifty in the first innings, followed by an unbeaten 41 off 26 in the second. He entered the field at 104 for 6 in pursuit of 178 in IPL 2022 and led DC home against Mumbai Indians at Brabourne Stadium with an unbeaten 38 off 17 balls.
Axar has improved his hitting over the past few years, particularly at DC, where he worked with head coach Ricky Ponting, assistant coach Pravin Amre, and previous assistant coach Mohammed Kaif. His stroke possibilities have been increased by realigning his front foot while lofting down the ground, maintaining his hitting form, and creating scoring spaces square of the wicket.
The left-hander, who was given the nickname “Jayasuriya” in his native of Nadiad, Gujarat, for his heavy hitting in his formative years, has always had the fundamentals of both defence and attack in place. While his coaches would work to keep him focused on the red ball, he would also take breaks to play tennis ball cricket for enjoyment. He improved his defensive and driving technique by using ordinary and worn-out tennis balls, which he bowled with pinched grips to turn and bounce awkwardly on cement and other uneven surfaces. Axar needed to be close to the ball’s pitch and swiftly adjust if he couldn’t make it in time.
However, his career has progressed at higher levels in the shadow of his fellow all-rounder. Opportunities for the national team have been sporadic, and even in the IPL, he is most recognised for his four precise, cost-effective overs. And if one is primarily going to sit on the federal bench, it isn’t easy to keep pushing oneself.
“When he first arrived in DC, he may have been a little too upbeat. But over time, he understood that he would need to work even more challenging if he wanted to be considered for India as an all-rounder regularly, Kaif told this publication before IPL 2022.
And that required him to spend extra time honing his batting. Axar would look to hit straight and bring his front foot down around mid-off. Due to the obstruction caused by his reach, he could not make a solid connection with the bat. To open up the hitting zone, Kaif stated, “we focused on getting the front foot to come down in the direction of mid-on or at least straight.”
It took some time, but Axar has finally incorporated it into his setup. In the second ODI in Trinidad, he hit all his straight boundaries with the most refined front foot positioned deep inside the ball’s path.
At 205 for 5 in the 39th over, with another 107 needed, Axar claimed he had entered the match with a bullish outlook. “In the final ten overs of the IPL, a hundred or so is chased. I, therefore, joined with the idea that we could accomplish the same thing here and not let the fact that we still needed to acquire many runs get to us. We planned to take at least one risk each time, Axar said to Yuzvendra Chahal on bcci. Tv.
Axar had stated that he sought to keep his shape and respond to the ball rather than clogging his mind with too many thoughts after the Brabourne chase against MI, where he lofted Jasprit Bumrah for six over long-on.
Axar had claimed, “I was keeping my shape. “You can start thinking that I should loft the ball there or that I can hit the sweep when you realise that you need to score a certain number of runs and there are only a certain number of balls left. However, Ricky and I continue to chat, and I’ve focused on being present so I can see the ball and hit it. Therefore, I was attempting to achieve that.
Axar has also gotten better at targeting the wide yorkers that are intended to keep him from slogging past midwicket. “Bowlers would bowl wide yorkers to him even though his release stroke would be through midwicket. Then, Amre continued, “He concentrated on hitting that specific delivery through and over point.
Axar scored 182 runs in the IPL 2022 with a 151.66 strike rate. Although India had put him forward to spare Dinesh Karthik for the end against South Africa in Cuttack, he is not yet elite finishing material, but at least his batting has begun to come up more frequently.
Are observed that although he does not have many opportunities to bat, his desire is good, and his confidence has been high ever since he struck Jadeja for those sixes. “He is essentially a bright, intelligent cricketer aware of the game circumstances. When there is a particular batsman at the other end, he swiftly determines which bowler to target and when to turn the strike over. He does possess the capacity to power hit. However, it may not be obvious. And right now, it’s starting to show itself.