King’s XI Punjab’s all-rounder Axar Patel was born in Gujarat’s small industrial town called Nadiad. The town has produced many scholars like India’s first deputy Prime Minister Sardar Patel. Now, the young left-hander has made the name of Nadiad famous again.
Axar us emerging as the most crucial for KXIP in the ongoing season of IPL. Punjab has won both their opening matches and the southpaw was the standout performer in the both the matches for Punjab. Here are some facts about the talented youngster:
1. Axar wanted to pursue mechanical engineering
The southpaw always desired of pursuing engineering. He was a brilliant student in his class as he was the topper of his class till class X. But, when Axar’s friends told his father about his cricketing skills, his father insisted him to take it up seriously. However, the Gujarat lad fooled his father by acting like going for practice sessions and instead played gully cricket. His father came to know about that later and later on made sure that Axar went for training.
Axar got the inspiration of playing cricket from his grandmother. She would tell him about her desire to watch him play on television. Unfortunately, when Axar wore the blue jersey for India in his debut ODI against Bangladesh, she wasn’t there to relish the moment. The left-hander all-rounder always had the regret of not able to attend his grandmother’s funeral. Soon after that, his desire to play for India strengthened.
2. When Axar thought of giving up cricket
In 2010, when Axar was selected for the Gujarat U-19 team but he suffered a tragic incident. During the Diwali break, Patel hurt his leg at home and got ruled out for the entire season. He needed around eight to 10 stitches on his leg. He got very scared after that incident and started thinking about quitting the game as he thought will never be able to recover completely. But, his grandmother’s last wish made him fight back stronger.
3. Consistency in Ranji Trophy
In 2012, the hard-working all-rounder played his first Ranji Trophy game against Madhya Pradesh, but it was his only game of that season. However, in 2013 he proved his mettle by finishing the season with a tally of 369 runs at an average of 46.12. He also took 29 wickets in that season for Gujarat at an economy rate of 23.58 in 7 games. He was also the third highest wicket-taker of his team
4. Unfortunate in IPL
In the 6th season of IPL in 2013, the left-arm orthodox spinner was bought by Mumbai Indians, unfortunately, didn’t feature in any of the game. But, after a phenomenal Ranji season in the same year, he was bought by Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the 7th season of the cash-rich T20 tournament.
Ultimately, KXIP’s decision to trust Axar turned out to be a masterstroke as the southpaw became one the top performers of that season. He finished that season with a tally of 17 wickets at an unexpected economy rate of 6.22. Patel also scored some handy runs with the bat. He was adjudged the ‘Emerging Player of the Year’ for IPL.
In the season of 2013-14, Axar was also awarded BCCI Under-19 Cricketer of the Year for his incredible Ranji stint.
5. Unforgettable spell
Axar Patel’s spell of 6 overs, 6 maiden and 4 wickets for India A against South Africa A in the second unofficial Test was one of the best bowling spells. Because of that performance, India A team sealed the series 1-0. South Africa A batsmen weren’t having any clue about Patel’s bowling on the final day of their Test at Wayanad. The Proteas’ wickets fell like a pack of cards as the talented left-armer bowled a disciplined line and length to have a check on the flow of runs. Patel had also claimed a fifer (5/92) in South Africa A’s first innings.