‘You said I got fired up because I wasn’t picked…': Axar on SA T20Is snub | Cricket - Hindustan Times

‘You said I got fired up because I wasn’t picked. If I bowled poorly...': Axar's terrific response after SA T20Is snub

Dec 02, 2023 01:46 PM IST

Axar Patel opened up on missing out on an opportunity to play in the ODI World Cup due to injury, and also reacted to not being picked for T20Is against SA.

Team India's star spinner Axar Patel had endured a heartbreak days before the ODI World Cup in October-November, when an injury ruled him out of the marquee tournament. Axar had sustained the injury during Asia Cup, where India had won the title defeating Sri Lanka in the final; in the end, he couldn't win the race against time to be fit enough for the World Cup and veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin replaced him in the 15-member squad. During the course of the tournament, Axar made a return to cricket in domestic circuit and eventually made a comeback to the side in the T20I series against Australia.

Axar Patel celebrates the dismissal of Travis Head during the 4th T20I against Australia, at Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket in Raipur (BCCI-X)
Axar Patel celebrates the dismissal of Travis Head during the 4th T20I against Australia, at Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket in Raipur (BCCI-X)

Following a stellar performance in the fourth T20I of the series – where he took 3 wickets for just 16 runs in four overs – Axar addressed the post-match press conference where he spoke about the injury-forced absence at the World Cup. The left-arm spinner admitted that he was upset after missing out on the tournament at home, and it took him about a week to get over the disappointment and focus on recovery.

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"Obviously, you are bound to be (disappointed). The World Cup was in India, but that injury happened. For the first few days, I was thinking about it, not being able to play due to injury," Axar told reporters.

“But, the team was doing well, so after 5-10 days, I was back to training and was doing my rehab. But, yes, when you are out due to injury and those 5-10 days you are not able to do anything, you do feel a bit bad. After that, I returned to routine life.”

Axar may have returned in Indian colours but in the upcoming tour of South Africa, the bowling all-rounder didn't find a place in the T20I squad. He was, however, named in ODIs.

“This is not in my hands. You're saying I got fired up because my name isn't in the squad, but it can also be the opposite... if I had bowled poorly, you would have said I was upset! So, it goes both ways. It wasn't anything like that, I was normal. Squad selection wasn't in my mind, I had been giving my best all this time. It isn't my decision, it's the selector's decision. I was only following the processes that I followed in past 3 games,” said Axar.

The final T20I of the five-match series takes place in Bengaluru on Sunday.

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