India captain Virat Kohli has encouraged Axar Patel to pursue international cricket for a long time if he keeps fit and improves his all-round abilities. Axar, 27, has had a brilliant start to his Test career, having taken 36 wickets in 5 matches, including 5 five-wicket hauls and one ten-wicket haul.
Patel demonstrated his brilliance in the two-match series against New Zealand despite taking 27 wickets in 3 matches versus England previously this year. The left-arm spin bowler took 9 wickets in 2 matches against the Kiwis, finishing the series as the 3rd-highest wicket-taker.
During the post-match media conference following India’s series success over New Zealand, the 33-year-old Kohli showered praise on Patel, saying that his all-round talent adds a great deal of value to the squad. Even if his stats as a bowler are respectable, Patel hasn’t deceived with the bat.
Axar is going through a great phase and I wish him all the success: Virat Kohli
“Axar is obviously is an all-rounder cricketer. His skill sets provide a good balance to any team he plays for precisely why he is performing well for so long in T20 cricket and Test too whenever he is given an opportunity. The good thing to see is he is adapting his game according to the need of the format,” Virat Kohli said.
“Which I think is a great sign, if he can keep his fitness levels up, if he can keep working on his game then you know he has a potential to play for a long time and that’s basically the need of the hour in today’s cricket“.
“If you can’t keep up your fitness level it becomes more and more difficult. At the moment he is going through a great phase and I wish him all the success. I hope he stays fit and hungry to play for a long time,” he added.
He has 179 runs with the best score of 52 against the NZ at the Wankhede Stadium earlier this month and has an avg of 29.83 after 5 Tests. Patel has also featured 38-ODIs and 15-T20Is since making his debut in 2014 versus Bangladesh in Dhaka. The Delhi Capitals just signed him for INR 9 crores prior to the IPL 2022 super auction.