Scott Styris said Axar Patel is probably lagging behind another all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in the race for the spin-bowling all-rounder’s spot in the full-strength Indian ODI team. Axar scored an unbeaten 64 off just 35 balls to help Team India register a two-wicket win in the second ODI against the West Indies on Sunday, July 24. He also finished with figures of 1/40 in the nine overs he bowled.
During an interaction on the Sports 18 show ‘Sports Over the Top’, Styris said: “He is probably behind Ravindra Jadeja when you look at that A (full-strength) team. But if you continue to perform like this, then there is no question that you could even play both, that’s the best part of it.”
Styris also pointed out an area where Axar Patel is at a disadvantage. He explained: “India do like to pick spinners and a lot of them. You do like the ball turning in both directions, that’s the one thing that he does have against him when you compare him to Jadeja. The other thing too is the tournament being in India next year, there is where spinners will play their part, particularly through the middle, and that innings of his is what separated the two teams. His 64 off 35 deliveries, 180 strike rate, that wins you matches, not just in T20s but ODI cricket as well.”
Styris also credited the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the immense confidence displayed by everyone on the international circuit. Meanwhile, Axar Patel’s 64-run knock was comprised of three fours and five sixes. He almost single-handedly took Team India to victory after Deepak Hooda’s wicket, with the visitors needing 56 runs in less than six overs with just four wickets in hand.
“The Indian T20 league where these players get to play those aggressive shots and win matches single-handedly gives them the confidence and they are fearless today. That innings from Axar Patel was exactly that,” Scott Styris concluded.