Delhi Capitals all-rounder Axar Patel has revealed that he had doubts after being released by Kings XI Punjab ahead of IPL 2019. Patel, who had made his IPL debut for Mumbai Indians in 2013, represented Kings XI in 68 IPL matches till 2018.
Speaking in an Instagram live session with Capitals, Patel talked about how his first couple of days at Delhi were different and how he eventually went on to adjust well with the players.
“I was skeptical at first because I had spent five years at the Punjab franchise, and I didn’t know where my future would lie. But when I was picked up by Delhi Capitals, I was really excited because the team had so many players I had played with before.
“It was a bit different in the first couple days when I joined the pre-season camp, but it took me no time to adjust into the team due to the mood in the squad,” Patel was quoted as saying.
Delhi Capitals’ Axar Patel opens up on awards received by Ricky Ponting during IPL 2019
In the 14 T20s that Patel played for Capitals in IPL 2019, he picked 10 wickets at an average of 36.40, an economy rate of 7.13 and a strike rate of 30.60. The limited opportunities with the bat that he got saw Patel scoring 110 runs at an average of 18.33 and a strike rate of 125.
Patel, who played for DC under his India and India A teammate in Shreyas Iyer, opened up about how the 25-year old skipper gives freedom to his bowlers and remains patient on the field.
“I’ve played with Shreyas at India A also, and when I came to Delhi Capitals, it was really easy for me because we bond really well. On the field, he gives freedom to his bowlers, and lets you adjust the fields. He is quite patient as well, and I have really enjoyed playing under him,” Patel said.
In a fresh development, Patel revealed how head coach Ricky Ponting used to give separate ‘Man of the Match’ awards to players who contributed well during the last season of the Indian Premier League.
“Ricky [Ponting] would give a separate Man of the Match Award in the dressing room for someone who used to contribute to the team. I ended up winning it five times, and it ended up being a good recognition for me personally, and it felt good to have contributed to the team’s victories,” Patel added.