Delhi Capitals spinner Axar Patel was worried about his 'rhythm' getting affected due to COVID-19 hiatus but a brilliant Super Over display helped him restore confidence in the recently-suspended Indian Premier League (IPL).
Axar, playing his first game since recovering from COVID-19, volunteered to bowl the Super Over against Sunrisers Hyderabad and conceded just seven runs against the likes of David Warner and Kane Williamson.
In an exclusive interaction with India TV, Axar revealed how he walked up to skipper Rishabh Pant and asked whether he could bowl the Super Over. Pant spoke to coach Ricky Ponting before he went with Axar instead of pacer Avesh Khan.
"I was in good form and then suddenly this COVID thing happened. I was also worried if COVID would affect my rhythm and how my body would respond after the battle with the virus. In the first match itself, my COVID recovery was put to test, as I bowled the Super Over against Sunrisers Hyderabad. After that, I became more confident as my rhythm was intact," said Axar.
"I thought I or R Ashwin would be bowling the Super Over. But then I saw the think tank gathered around Avesh Khan. I was confident that I could do better than Avesh under the conditions. I then went up to Rishabh and said that I can bowl the Super Over without giving away many runs.
Pant consulted coach Ponting, and he gave the captain the freedom to take the final call. I knew I could either become a hero or a zero. For a few moments, my heartbeat did increase. But I had the confidence and mental strength to pull me through," Axar further said.
After a terrific outing in his debut Test series against England, the 27-year-old will now travel with the Indian contingent for the WTC final against New Zealand and a five-Test series against the Three Lions. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja's return to the Test fold and having Axar, Ashwin, and Washington Sundar in the ranks could augur well for India in their four-month-long gruelling tour in England.