New Delhi. Akshar Patel, the star all-rounder of the Indian cricket team, has been improving rapidly as a batsman in the last 12 months. He has given credit for the change in his batting approach to Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting, who has played a key role in improving his batting. Akshar has done exceptionally well in the last three months across all formats. In the second Test on Saturday (February 18), he played a match-changing 74-run innings along with Ravichandran Ashwin (37 runs).
Both Ravichandran Ashwin and Akshar Patel shared a 114-run partnership for the eighth wicket, leaving India on 262, just one run behind Australia’s first innings score. Akshar’s 84 in the first Test at Nagpur helped India post 400, which saw the hosts bowl Australia out of the match.
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After stumps on the second day of the second Test, Akshar said, “I talked a lot with Ricky in Delhi Capitals about how I can improve my batting. Even in the Indian team, I have been talking to the batsmen. I felt that I am not able to do according to my ability by scoring 30 and 40 runs, I am not able to ‘finish’ the match.
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He said, “So it was a lot about mental strength. Sometimes as an all-rounder, you get comfortable after taking wickets, which can make you careless. So I thought I can improve on that by converting those 30s and 40s into match-winning scores.”
Akshar said, “I think like this now and it has made a lot of difference. Australian spinner Nathan Lyon also heaped praise on Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin, who he feels the Indian spin duo can bat well in the top six of any international team. After the end of the second day’s play, he said, “He is not a lower order batsman. In my view, Akshar and Ashwin can easily bat in the top six positions in some teams in Test cricket around the world. Can say that their (India’s) top order is very tall.
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Tags: axar patel, Border Gavaskar Trophy, India vs Australia, Ravichandran ashwin, Ricky Ponting
FIRST PUBLISHED : February 18, 2023, 20:32 IST