India possesses a number of superstars in their team, including MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, just to name a few. Someone like Axar Patel does not yet belong to the elite company, but he surely plays an important role as the all-rounder in limited-overs format for "Men in Blue".
Axar contributes with both bat and ball, which plays an important role in the player getting the nod above players such as Kuldeep Yadav. The slow left-arm spinner also adds variety to the attack, and his ability to contain batsmen is his number one characteristic. He has an economy rate of 6 in the T20I format, which is impressive when batsmen are always on the lookout of scoring big against spinners.
The present coach of the Indian cricket team, Ravi Shastri was also a slow-left arm bowler, but Patel revealed that the former player does not suggest much changes to him when it comes to his bowling style. Shastri, however, wants him to bowl stump-to-stump.
"I do not talk to him (Ravi) too much as he knows my bowling style is quite different, as compared to him. He does not suggest too many changes. He says, you know you have come into the Indian team after having performed well, so just continue doing the same," Axar said on the eve of the second T20I against New Zealand in Rajkot.
"He also often talks about the need to know about how to bowl in different pressure situations. He does not give me major advices, but asks me to bowl stump to stump."
Axar is someone, who does not turn the ball much, but rather depends on his unwavering line and length. It is such kind of bowling, which helps him pressurise the batsmen, and thus allow bowlers at the other end to take wickets.
The Gujarat-born player, despite having played the last three limited-overs matches for India, cannot take his place for granted. The likes of Kuldeep will always push for his inclusion, and players such as R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are always there, ready for a comeback.
So, Axar needs to make the most out of the chances in India colours, and further cement his place in the playing XI.