After losing to Sri Lanka in the second Twenty20 International in Pune, Team India had a disappointing night on Thursday. The Hardik Pandya-led team was chasing 207 runs, but fell 16 runs short, tying the three-match series at one each. The quickfire from all-rounder Axar Patel, which put Team India on the cusp of triumph despite suffering a loss, will undoubtedly be remembered fondly by the Indian supporters. India only had 57 runs on the board when they lost five wickets in their attempt to reach the enormous total. The game then gained new life with to a 91-run stand between Axar (65) and Suryakumar Yadav (51).
However, their efforts were in fruitless because Sri Lanka was able to regain control, and Team India was limited to 190/8. Fans and past cricket players have been praising Axar for his outstanding performance, which included taking two wickets in the game. Wasim Jaffer, a former Indian batsman, claimed that if Axar keeps up his current form, he will be able to step in for ace all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who has been sidelined since suffering an injury during the Asia Cup 2022.
“India are not missing Jadeja, who has been a phenomenal player in all three formats. But since India have found Axar Patel, we are not talking too much about Jadeja since he’s been away. Goes on to show how good Axar has come about as a cricketer. Fantastic. At the moment, yes (Axar is India’s No.1 spin all-rounder). India are lucky they have got such a like-for-like replacement (for Jadeja) in Axar Patel. He’s making the most of it in all formats. He can bowl in the powerplay, which I feel Jadeja does not like. Axar can do it. And If he bats like this, it’s debatable,” said Jaffer on ESPNCricinfo.
“In the last game also, he’s contributed immensely with the bat. Today (Thursday), he again showed how much he has improved. Massive improvements in Axar as a batter. He’s got a pretty good technique. We don’t see him slogging too many balls. He’s pretty sure that when he connects, he’s going to go out of the park. He targets the spinners, stands still and hits it pretty straight as well,” he added.