Axar Patel starred with the ball as India painted a whitewash against New Zealand. The Men in Blue beat the Kiwis by 73 runs in the 3rd T20I at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Defending 185 runs, Axar produced the first breakthrough for India. He dismissed Daryl Mitchell and Mark Chapman in the third over before getting the better of Glenn Phillips in the next over of his.
The all-rounder from Gujarat highlighted that he tried to vary the pace that worked wonders for him in recent times. Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Axar Patel said:
“Earlier when I got hit, I used to bowl quicker and quicker. Now I try to vary my pace. I try to stay a step ahead of the batter about what he’s trying to do. There was help in this wicket. Ball was stopping. So I just tried hitting good areas because the wicket had some help.”
Axar Patel returned with figures of 3/9 from three overs before Harshal Patel picked up two wickets. Meanwhile Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal and Deepak Chahar scalped a piece each to bowl out New Zealand for 111 runs, securing a massive win.
Earlier, India banked on Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan to get off to a swashbuckling start. Later strong contributions from the middle-order propelled India to 184 runs which proved too much for the Kiwis on Sunday night.
“Want to take this confidence forward” – Axar Patel ahead of the Test series
The 27-year-old cricketer, who played all three matches in the absence of Ravindra Jadeja, performed consistently, picking up four wickets.
Axar Patel is confident he can take the confidence into the two-match Test series. It gets underway on November 25 in Kanpur.
“Want to take this confidence forward. Obviously if you take 27 wickets in a series, you feel like you can do anything,” Axar Patel concluded.
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He had a stellar start to his Test career, picking up 27 wickets from three-matches against England earlier this year.