Delhi Capitals’ left-arm spinner Axar Patel said that he had volunteered to bowl the Super Over in their Indian Premier League win over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday, which was also his first game since recovering from Covid-19.
After being surprisingly handed the ball for the crucial over, Axar conceded only seven runs against David Warner and Kane Williamson and the paved the way for DC’s win in Chennai. SRH managed just one boundary, setting an easy nine-run target for Capitals who knocked off the required runs despite Rashid Khan’s brilliance.
“When I was in the dressing room, I knew that the pitch would assist spinners,” Axar said of the challenging Chepauk track.
“When we went down, there were a lot of discussions. We thought initially that we could go with a pacer since they will be sending a left-right combination.
“After that, just when we were going to the ground, I thought, even a spinner could be effective. So I told Rishabh ‘even I can bowl, think about it’. He spoke to [coach] Ricky [Ponting] and it was decided at the last moment that I will bowl.”
The move paid off as Axar used his variations to deadly effect.
Axar, who joined the DC camp only three days prior to their match against SRH after recovering from Covid-19, also returned excellent figures of 2/26 in his quota of four overs. A few sessions with the team and he was raring to go.
“I was ready from my end,” he said when asked about returning to the playing XI.
“The team management asked me how I am feeling after (recovering from) Covid. You know your body better. I had done four sessions already.
“On Chennai’s wicket, the ball has been coming slow and turning. I told the management that I’m match fit, so they told me that if I’m ready I will play straight away,” the left-arm spinner added.
The fact that Axar was coming off a terrific outing in his debut Test series against England and equally impressive performances in limited overs matches prior to the IPL must have added to his confidence heading into the lucrative league.
“I was bowling well even before Covid – in the Tests as well as the T20s,” he said.
“I was carrying that confidence. I wasn’t thinking too much about COVID... obviously, it was a frustrating phase,” he added.
With PTI Inputs