Legendary India National Cricket Team batter Sunil Gavaskar has said that the spin-bowling all-rounder Axar Patel “will be a key cog in the wheel of Rohit Sharma’s ambitions of lifting” the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 trophy in Australia.
Axar Patel was included in the 15-member squad of Team India for the World Cup in the absence of Ravindra Jadeja, who is out with a knee injury. The 28-year-old, who has been highly impactful with the ball in recent times and has showcased his good power-hitting skills, will most likely be part of India’s first-choice playing XI in the marquee tournament.
Speaking to India Today, Sunil Gavaskar heaped praise on Axar and said that the spin-bowling all-rounder will be joined by Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI if India opt to play two spinners in the multi-nation tournament.
“I think he will be a crucial player in the squad. If they go in with 2 spinners, that will be Axar Patel and R Ashwin. 3 fast bowlers and Hardik Pandya as the 6th bowling option. Axar, yes, he is a top fielder. He has this knack of getting wickets in any form of the game, be it Tests, ODIs, or T20Is. And as a batter, we have seen him in the West Indies, winning games for India,” Gavaskar said.
“I think he will be a key cog in the wheel of Rohit Sharma’s ambitions of lifting this trophy,” he added.
Shami bowled just one over but he got his yorkers spot on – Sunil Gavaskar
Gavaskar was also impressed with the performances of KL Rahul and Mohammed Shami in the warm-up game against Australia.
Rahul smashed terrific 57 runs off 33 balls, including 6 fours and 3 sixes, before being dismissed by off-spinner Glenn Maxwell in the 8th over in the warm-up game. On the other hand, the right-arm pacer Shami bowled just one over in the match, but in that one over he defended 11 runs and bagged 3 wickets.
“The bowling of Mohammed Shami, he bowled just one over but he got his yorkers spot on and that’s a very important delivery. Also, I think some of the time spent in the middle by KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav.
“Rahul batted brilliantly, just like we see him bat in the IPL. He goes bang, bang. It was so nice to see. It’s again telling the world look he came into the season late because of injury issues and after that surely it takes a bit of time and that time he has used. Now he is looking very good,” Gavaskar added.
In their tournament opener, India National Cricket Team will take on arch-rivals Pakistan National Cricket Team on October 23 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.