Delhi Capitals(DC) on Thursday welcomed back off-spinner Axar Patel to their squad as he joined them after recovering from COVID-19 in Chennai.
Axar Patel Joins DC
Axar has not been able to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 till now due to the virus but has regained full fitness and even took part in his first-team training session on Friday.
“Aadmi dekh ke hi toh mujhe maza aa rahan hai (I’m getting sheer joy just by seeing people),” Patel said in a video put out by the franchise on Friday.
📹 | Smiles and hugs all around as Bapu returned to the DC camp 😁🤗
Oh, how we missed you, @akshar2026 💙
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) April 22, 2021
Axar had checked in the DC team hotel with a negative test result on March 28 but returned a positive result in his 2nd Covid test.
Upon return, Axar Patel recalled his experience while making his Test debut for Team India and said that this is his best moment after playing the longest format of the game.
He said: “It has been really great to come out of quarantine after 20 days and meet my teammates. This is the best moment in my life after my Test debut. I was alone in my room for 20 days and I didn’t have anything to do. I was watching the matches and one good thing was that our team won most of the matches, so I got even more motivated to re-join the side. It’s been great to start practicing with the team and I am happy about my preparations.”
Patel then talked about attending his first training session with the team.
He said: “I have started batting and bowling practice, but I haven’t pushed too hard during training. I have spoken to the doctors about how I should go about my training, and I am carrying out my practice according to their suggestions.”
When asked about the directions given to him by Captain Rishabh Pant and Head Coach Ricky Ponting, Axar said, “Rishabh and Ricky sir have told me to train keeping in mind about how my body is reacting to practice drills in the next two-three days. We are not thinking ahead too much at the moment, we are just focusing on how my body is reacting to training sessions.”
Delhi Capitals had roped in left-arm spinner Shams Mulani, 24, as a short-term replacement for all-rounder Axar. Mulani has played 10 first-class games for Mumbai in domestic cricket but did not feature in any IPL game for DC just yet.
The Rishabh Pant-led DC currently occupies the third position on the IPL 2021 points table with 3 wins from 4 games and will next face 2016 champions Sunrisers Hyderabad at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on April 25 in a night game.