Axar Always Goes Under the Radar, Says R Ashwin After DC Beat RCB

R Ashwin addressed a press conference after Delhi Capitals’ 59-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore.

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IPL
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Defending their 196-run total against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday, 5 October, Delhi Capitals’ Kagiso Rabada became the first bowler in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season, to pick up four wickets in a match.

However, the Player of the Match Award wasn’t given to the South African pacer – who returned with 4/24 – or Marcus Stoinis, who scored a 26-ball 53. It was given to left-arm spinner Axar Patel who bowled 10 dot balls, leaked just one boundary, gave away only 18 runs and also picked up two wickets in his four overs.

In the press conference after Delhi’s 59-run win, senior spinner R Ashwin said that players like Axar didn’t get the attention they deserved at times, but were crucial to the team’s performance.

“Sometimes what happens in T20 cricket is that we tend to blow up the images, stats and numbers of bowlers who get the wickets and the Purple Cap. Likewise, with the Orange Cap. And sometimes I think it’s a bit overrated in a game like T20 because, it is somewhat like your football where people are playing their roles, and one such player is Axar,” said Ashwin.

“He (Axar Patel) always goes under the radar because he bowls good overs, builds the pressure for someone else to capitalise the wickets.”

“These are the heroes who get really appreciated inside the dressing room for us in Delhi Capitals and Ricky (Ponting) is very particular on that. We stick to the roles and when you get appreciated, people want to hold on to their roles," he added.

‘Technique of Batsmen is Over-rated’

Opener Prithvi Shaw scored a 23-ball 42, and asked about what he was doing differently, R Ashwin said:

“Prithvi is a phenomenal talent. I don’t think we need to be talking too much about techniques of batsmen here because sometimes technique of batsmen is just over-rated. I feel everybody has got a unique technique.”

“When Prithvi hits the ball, it makes a lovely sound with the bat. He’s a really special talent. It just depends on which side of the bed he wakes up on and how well he plays. He’s been hitting the ball beautifully in the last couple of games and I’m expecting better things from him as the tournament goes on,” said Ashwin.

‘Bench Strength Good Enough to Be Another IPL Team’

Senior spinner Amit Mishra was on Monday, ruled out of the remainder of the season due to an injury. Ashwin said that the team would miss him, but had enough back-up players to not let it affect their performance.

“There is enough strength in the bench. When it comes to the IPL, sometimes the people coming off the bench become very important. That bench is good enough to be another IPL team as well, it’s of that sort of quality. Amit (Mishra) will be dearly missed in this team, he’s a legend in the IPL. Moving forward, we’ll try our best to keep Amit happy at home,” he said.

After four wins in five games, Delhi Capitals sit at the top of the points table. On the team this season, Ashwin said, “I think we’ve got a pretty good side, and everyone’s putting their hand up. I thought we were a bit rusty getting into the tournament. There’s still a lot of room for improvement and we will get there at the back end of the tournament.

Marcus Stoinis has also proved to be a match-winner for the franchise so far. On Monday, he scored a quickfire half-century to push Delhi to a bigger total. “He (Stoinis) has become extremely strong. He’s been playing the IPL for different teams over the last couple of seasons and he’s obviously improved over the last two years. And finally, a really excellent Stoinis has reached Delhi Capitals. The team environment has been great for him to go there and express himself,” said Ashwin.

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