Delhi Capitals spin bowling all rounder Axar Patel has credited his skipper, Shreyas Iyer, in helping him adjust well into a new team after playing for Kings XI Punjab for 5 years. The 26 year old from Nadiad was picked up by the Delhi Capitals in the IPL 2019 auction for Rs 5 crore and picked up 10 wickets and scored 110 runs.
In a chat with the official Instagram handle of the franchise on a live session, he said, “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.”
Speaking about the time, when he was released by the Kings XI ahead of the IPL auction of 2019, he said he was concerned about his future. “I was sceptical 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,” said Axar.
When asked about his experience of his first season with the franchise, Axar said, “I feel when you’re winning, the feeling is really different and the confidence is high. We had a great combination in our team, and the team environment was such that it brought out the best in all of us. Making it to the play-offs in my first season with the franchise was great.”
Axar also spoke about his Capitals coach, Ricky Ponting, saying that he would reward a top performing player with an exclusive badge and Axar won it a number of times.
“Ricky 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,” he said.