'I watch South Indian films in Hindi to unwind', says Kings XI's Axar Patel
Axar Patel or 'Axe' as he's fondly called by his teammates has had a lukewarm start to IPL 2018.
After being the only player to have been retained by his franchise Kings XI Punjab before the mega-auction earlier this year, Patel has had little role to play in his team's bright show so far.
But with the untimely injury that kept him away from action now behind him, he is all set to reclaim his spot in the XI come Friday.
On the sidelines of his team's preparations for the next game, the Indian all-rounder spoke exclusively to Sportskeeda, sharing his thoughts on matters both on & off the field.
SK: On not having played a significant role this season
Axar: See, I was very happy to know that I was the only one to have been retained by Kings XI leading up to the tournament, and it's unfortunate that I haven't been able to play much after getting injured.
But now that I am fit, I am extremely eager to get back into action. Seeing how our first half of the tournament has been, I would love to contribute to the team's success and make sure we keep doing well.
SK: On playing under Ravichandran Ashwin, a 'bowler captain'
Axar: As a bowler, it is always good to have a captain who is a bowler himself. The communication about how to make strategies against a particular batsman and all gets easier in such a case because at the end of the day, only a bowler can understand a bowler fully.
And of course, it has been a great experience playing under Ashwin, because he keeps giving ideas on areas to work on and how to improve.
SK: On lessons learnt from KXIP's so-close-yet-so-far IPL campaign 2014
Axar: I think it would be a big mistake to think too much about what happened in the past or what may happen in the future.
We should just continue playing in the manner in which we have been playing and not worry about qualification. It's about taking one game at a time, doesn't matter if you win or lose. It's about taking lessons from each game and moving forward.
SK: On dealing with the hectic schedule and finding ways to relax
Axar: Everyone has their own way to relax, some like listening to music, some read. But in my case, it's a little different. I watch South Indian movies dubbed in Hindi to unwind.
I know it's weird, but I make sure that whenever someone sits with me, he also sees the same South Indian movie with me.
SK: On identifying the prankster in the Kings XI outfit
Axar: Ummm...give me some time to think (someone in his unit shouts out his name overhearing the question)
SK: On potential competition in the race to the IPL final
Axar: I think Chennai Super Kings are doing well and can make it [to the finals]. If you see, they have one new player being the match-winner in every other game, and both their batting and bowling units are firing.
Based on how they are playing right now, they stand a strong chance of making it to the finals.
SK: On who he'd rather avoid bowling to, Yuvraj Singh or Chris Gayle, when both are in explosive form
Axar: If you ask me, as a bowler, I will always want to bowl no matter what. No intention to let them keep playing, especially if they are in explosive form. But since they are on my team, I will want them to play all 20 overs and keep hitting fours and sixes.
Favourite Song: 'Tum Hi Ho' by Arijit Singh
Dish that makes you feel at home: None, unless the dish is actually made at home, it's anyway difficult to get Gujrati food outside
Best friend in the cricket world: Hardik Pandya
Bowler you hate facing in the nets: Jasprit Bumrah
Major superstition: I always step onto the field putting my right leg forward, and look at the sun once.
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