Axar Rajeshbhai Patel, is an Indian Cricketer born in Gujarat in 20th of January 1994. He plays the role of all-rounder for Gujarat, King XI Punjab and India. An all-rounder, he is a hard-hitting left-hand batsman and slow left-arm orthodox bowler.
In his debut Ranji Trophy season of 2012, he played only one match, but he had an exceptional 2013-14 Ranji Trophy season as he was amongst the most consistent players for Gujarat as he made 369 runs at an average of 46.12 and took 29 wickets at an economy rate of 23.58 in 7 matches.
The left-arm orthodox spinner was one of the key contributors to India Under-23s' title win in the ACC Emerging Teams Cup 2013, with seven wickets, including a four-for in the semi-final against UAE. As a result, he was awarded “BCCI Under-19 cricketer of the Year” in 2014. In August 2019, he was named in the India Red team's squad for the 2019–20 Duleep Trophy. In October 2019, he was named in India C's squad for the 2019–20 Deodhar Trophy.
Axar Patel, the bowling all-rounder from Gujarat, had earned his maiden IPL contract with Mumbai Indians in 2013, and a switch to KXIP the following season made him a household name in the competition in the years that followed. Axar even took a hat-trick for Kings XI Punjab against Gujarat Lions in IPL 9 (2016) by dismissing Dinesh Karthik, Dwayne Bravo, and Ravindra Jadeja in succession.
After being a regular in the KXIP line-up, Axar was snapped up by Delhi Capitals for a whopping Rs 5 crore at the IPL auctions ahead of the 2019 season, making him the second most expensive player for the franchise. He was later retained by the Delhi franchise for the IPL 2020. Axar’s inclusion in the side adds to the balance in the bowling department, with his left-arm orthodox spin perfectly complementing the leg-spinners in the ranks.
Axar played for the Rishabh Pant-led Delhi Capitals in both 2021 and 2022. Axar scored only a mere 40 runs in 2021, averaging 8 runs per innings and striking the ball below the rate of 90. The left-arm off-spinner tried to make up for his batting with bowling, taking 15 wickets and having an economy rate of 6.65.
In the 2022 edition, Axar struggled with the ball, taking only six wickets in 13 matches and having an economy rate of 7.47. The premier fared better with the bat in the latest season, scoring a total of 182 runs, at an average and strike rate of 45.50 and151.67, respectively.
Axar Patel was picked for the 2021 England’s Tour of India as a replacement for an injured Ravindra Jadeja. On his Test debut, the spinning deck of Chennai, helped him blow through the English batting order and take a whopping seven wickets in the entire match.
Although with the bat, he made only 5 and 7 runs in both the innings. In the second match, he bested his previous performance by taking eleven wickets but did not score any runs with the bat. And in the last match of the series, Axar took another impressive nine wickets and scored 43 runs in the Narendra Modi Stadium.
After an immensely successful debut in the home Test series, Axar was included again in the 2021 New Zealand’s Tour of India. He played both the matches of the series, taking 6 wickets in the first one, and 3 wickets in the second one.
He impressed everyone with his batting, scoring a half century and an unbeaten 41 in the second match against the Kiwis. His next and the most recent Test match has been against the Sri Lankan team, in which he played alongside Ravindra Jadeja as a second left arm orthodox.
Even in the presence of a veteran left-arm spinner, Axar Patel managed to dismiss three Sri Lankan batters.
After an impressive showing in the 2014 IPL, Patel was rewarded with a place in the Indian ODI squad for the tour to Bangladesh. He was also a part of 15 man squad for the 5 match series against Sri Lanka where he played in all 5 matches and took 11 wickets and made 31 runs at a strike rate of 178.
The selectors decided to persist with him and he retained his spot in the squad for the 2015 Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. However, he didn’t get a single match during the course of the tournament and warmed the bench.
On 20 June 2016, Axar moved to 13th place in ICC ODI rankings after he took three wickets against Zimbabwe, he was just three places behind India's highest ranked bowler Ravichandran Ashwin.
Axar also missed out on selection for the 2017 Champions Trophy as the selectors chose the experience of Jadeja ahead of Axar. After Champions Trophy, the selectors ejected out Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja from the side and it looked like Axar would become a regular feature in the side but the emergence of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal meant that the Gujarat lad to make his way for them.
Axar last played an ODI in 2017 against New Zealand.
Axar Patel made a comeback to the Indian ODI side in the 2022 India Tour of West Indies. Although the Indian team consisted of second-string players, the premier Indian all-rounder still featured in all three ODIs.
Axar was only helpful with the bat in the first match, scoring 21 runs and did not manage to take any wickets. In the second match, Axar played a match-winning innings, helping India chase down 311 runs with an unbeaten 64 runs off only 35 deliveries.
Axar was adjudged the player of the match for taking 1 wicket for 40 runs and his phenomenal knock. The left-arm orthodox spinner took only a single wicket in the last ODI and was not required to help his team with the bat.
In August 2022, Axar was also included in the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe. The left-arm batter did not get to bat much in the series, scoring a total of 7 runs in the three matches. But he did benefit the Indian team with his bowling, taking six wickets in three matches.
He made his Twenty20 International debut for India against Zimbabwe on 17 July 2015. He bowled his full quota of 4 overs, conceding 17 runs and taking 3 crucial wickets in his debut that included the likes of Hamilton Masakadza, Elton Chigumbura and Sikandar Raza.
Axar later went to play against the Proteas when they came touring the country in 2015. He played 2 matches and picked a solitary wicket. His last T20I came against South Africa in South Africa on 24 February 2018.
After a scintillating showing in the 2021 India-England Test series, Axar was included in the T20I series as well. He played the first match in which he failed to bail the team out both with the bat and ball, scoring seven runs off three and going wicketless with the ball. This led to him getting dropped for the rest of the series.
After eight months, and due to the injury of Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel got back into the team in a three-match T20I series against the black caps. Axar took only one wicket in the first couple of matches and an impressive three wickets for 19 runs in the final game. This was his last T20I match of the year 2021.
In 2022, Axar was part of several T20I series. He first featured in the five-match T20I series against South Africa in which his performance was mediocre. He took a total of 3 wickets and scored only 13 runs in the whole series.
Then he played a couple of matches against Ireland, in which he was wicketless as well as runless. In July, Axar played a T20I against England. He was only able to score 17 runs and bowled two expensive overs without any wickets. This led to him getting replaced by the experienced Ravindra Jadeja for the rest of the series. Axar Patel next played in a couple of T20Is against West Indies in August.
He bowled impressively taking two wickets in the first match and scored a crucial 20 off 8 balls in the first match to help India post a threatening total. The efficient all-rounder was declared as the player of the match in the second T20I as he took a brilliant 3 wickets for 15 runs and scored 9 runs off 7 balls.
Axar also played a match in the 2022 Asia cup against Afghanistan. Due to another injury of Ravindra Jadeja, Axar had to play in the Australian T20I series. He bowled magically in all the three matches, taking 3 wickets for 17 runs in the first one, 2 wickets for 13 runs in the second one, and 3 wickets for 33 runs.
With the bat he wasn’t as helpful, getting to play as a batter only once. His latest match came in South Africa’s Tour of India T20I series. Axar had a poor series, getting hit for 53 runs with only one wicket in the second match.
Axar never wanted to be a cricketer, instead, he wanted to be a mechanical engineer. When he was 15 years old, his friend Dhiren Kansara first noticed his cricketing talent and suggested him to play an inter-school tournament. His first name’s spelling was “Akshar”, but because of is school principal’s mistake he spelt it as “Axar” in the school leaving certificate, and since then he has been using this name.