File photo of Axar Patel.© AFP
Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra heaped praise on all-rounder Axar Patel for his performance in the side’s first ODI of the three-match series against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club. India defeated Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in the match on Thursday that saw Axar returning figures of 3 for 24 in 7.3 overs. However, Chopra added that Axar is still in the shadow of Ravindra Jadeja and that he would not be getting a chance as long as Jadeja is fit and available to play.
“The rise of Axar Patel is something that has been a heart-rending (sic) story. He is a cricketer who has come to international level after performing extremely well in the First-Class cricket. He is still in the shadow of Ravindra Jadeja and by the time Jadeja is fit and available to play, Axar would not be getting a chance. But whenever he is getting a chance, he is making the right impression,” said Chopra on his YouTube channel.
While Axar used the opportunity to make his case strong, another spinner Kuldeep Yadav — who has usually remained out of favour in the recent years — failed to pick any wicket. Though Kuldeep was economical in his 10-over spell against Zimbabwe, he conceded only 36 runs.
“Kuldeep Yadav didn’t get wickets… You expect wickets from him. This pitch doesn’t have help for him. I think he could have bowled a bit faster in air,” Chopra added.
India and Zimbabwe meet next for the second ODI at the same venue on August 20. The third and final match of the series will be played on August 22.
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