‘Playing in the US and Harare is like playing in Ahmedabad’, Axar Patel recalls India’s recent Caribbean tour

It isn’t difficult to find Indian cricket lovers in any part of the globe. As the Men in Blue toured Zimbabwe for a 3-match series, the touring team’s fans came out in numbers to support KL Rahul & Co.

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In the third ODI, which took place at Harare, Axar Patel was one of the top performers for India with the ball, picking up 2 wickets for just 30 runs in 10 overs. As Axar came out for the post-match press conference, he admitted that the fans made Harare feel like Ahmedabad to him.

“When playing T20 against the West Indies in the US and also in Harare, there were about 80 to 90 Gujaratis in the crowd. It was like playing in Ahmedabad. They were in Gujarat Titans T-shirts, and they were singing songs that went as ‘Gujarati faafda, Axar bhai aapda. So I really enjoyed those moments.”

After the game, Axar Patel said the big take away for the team was the implementation of the strategy decided in the dressing room.

“I think the way the fast bowlers executed the plans was very good. The way Avesh yorker and slower ones, we came back very well. Shardul in death overs and Shubham Gill’s batting were the biggest takeaways for us,” he said.

Axar hasn’t been a consistent part of the Indian team in any of the three formats. The spin-bowling all-rounder says that he sees every game as his last.

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“It is very tough when you play two games, then suddenly you have to sit out. And then again, after a gap, you get a couple of games. But I train my mind in a way that this is the only opportunity that I have. If I do well, I will get a second match. If I perform in that, I will get a third and so on. I play every match as if it is my last.”

“Yes, it is not easy, but instead of thinking about the negatives, I prefer focusing on the positives. I am getting a chance to play for India, and if I do well, I will keep improving,” he concluded.

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