the former India Opener Aakash Chopra heaped praise on left-arm spinner Axar Patel and said his rise is a heart-wrenching story. Patel has done well in white-ball cricket for India this year to make a place for himself in the upcoming 2022 T20 World cup.
He has played 4 ODIs this year in which he took five wickets and scored 85 runs including a match-winning half-century against West Indies. Whereas in 10 T20Is he took 8 wickets at an economy rate of 8.69.
In the first ODI against Zimbabwe, Patel took three for 24 as India registered an emphatic 10-wicket win to take a 1–0 lead in the three-match series.
Chopra suggested that Patel is still in the shadow of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and whenever he is available to play, it will be difficult for the former to get a chance in the playing XI.
“The rise of Axar Patel is something that has been a heartwarming (sic) story. He is one such cricketer who has come to the international level after performing extremely well in first-class cricket. He is still in Ravindra Jadeja’s shadow and as long as Jadeja is fit and available to play, Akshar will not be getting a chance. But whenever he is getting a chance, he is making the right impact,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
Patel has not been included in the Asia Cup squad but will travel with the team as a stand-by player. Next to him are Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravi Bishnoi.
The former cricketer further talked about Kuldeep Yadav who returned without a wicket on Thursday. Chopra said that the pitch did not help Kuldeep much and he should have tweaked his strategy a bit to trouble the batsmen.
“Kuldeep Yadav didn’t get wickets… you expect wickets from him. This pitch is not helpful for them. I think he could have bowled a little quicker in the air,” said Chopra.
The second match of the ODI series will be played on August 20 in Harare. Play Club, Harare. India will try to give more playing time to the players who are part of the Asia Cup squad.