Ravichandran Ashwin has been left impressed by the rise of Axar Patel ahead of the 2022 T20 World Cup. He praised the left-arm spinner’s crucial contributions in the recently concluded T20Is against Australia, which India won 2-1.
Axar has emerged as an economical bowler for India with the ability to pick up wickets. The 28-year-old took eight wickets while conceding 63 runs in three matches against Australia.
He continued his purple patch against South Africa in the first T20I on Wednesday, finishing with figures of 1/16 in his four overs. The all-rounder is also a handy batting option for the Men in Blue.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Ashwin said:
“In a high-scoring series, he was at his economical best. In a world where the focus is hugely on mystery spin, googly, wrist spin, and other stuff, he has impressed with his orthodox left-arm spin bowling.
"Pure value for putting the ball where he wants to and varying his pace, line, and length. That is a welcome sign if you ask me, when it comes to spin bowling.”
“When it comes to spin bowling in T20 cricket, there have been trends. Mystery spin, wrist spin and finger spin trends have gone back and forth for a while now. But it has always remained a circle.
"These trends will keep changing mostly because we live our entire lives in perception when it comes to cricket since we don't understand the ebbs and flows of the game.”
Ashwin shines in first T20I against South Africa
Ashwin also made a stunning comeback for the Indian cricket team against the Proteas on Wednesday.
The ace spinner used the conditions to his advantage as pacers Arshdeep Singh and Deepak Chahar dismissed the top five batters in the powerplay overs.
He gave away only eight runs in his four overs, including a maiden, but failed to pick up a wicket.
The senior cricketer has been named in the India squad for the ICC T20 World Cup. However, he did not play in the recently concluded T20I series against Australia.
He has so far scalped 66 wickets in 57 T20Is at a decent economy rate of 6.72.
Ashwin will likely feature in the second T20I against South Africa in Guwahati on Sunday (October 2).