Axar Patel reveals his bowling mantra in knockouts after a crucial spell against England in the semis

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Axar Patel

In a high-stakes semi-final clash against England during the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, Indian spinner Axar Patel showcased nerves of steel and a strategic mindset that proved decisive. Axar revealed that he approached the knockout stage with a specific mindset: to start and finish his overs exceptionally well.

Axar Patel’s defining spell in the Semi-Final

His first ball of the match set the tone. Axar dismissed England’s dangerous opener, Jonny Bairstow, sending shockwaves through the opposition. Axar’s spin wizardry continued as he scalped a total of 3 wickets during his spell. His deliveries turned sharply and stayed low, exploiting the challenging conditions of the pitch.

The wicket was slow, so Axar wisely opted for slower variations, making it difficult for England’s batters to connect. Axar’s very first over in the powerplay yielded dividends. He deceived England skipper Jos Buttler with a reverse sweep, providing India a crucial breakthrough.

The England team struggled against spin, and Axar found a valuable ally in fellow spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who also took three vital wickets.

Axar Patel’s all-round brilliance earned him the well-deserved Player of the Match award. His economical bowling and timely wickets restricted England to a mere 46/4 during their pursuit of India’s 172-run target.

With this victory, India stormed into the T20 World Cup final, ending a decade-long wait for a shot at the title. Axar’s heroics played a pivotal role in securing India’s place in the championship clash.

“I think I didn’t plan to hit wickets on the first ball. I had a mindset that I have to put it in a good place. Obviously, when you play knockouts, your mindset is that you should start and finish the first and last ball well. That was in my mind. Obviously, every time I did well with the wicket, that was a plus point. I think it was difficult to hit big shots, and it was difficult to hit sweep and reverse sweep because if the ball was down on this wicket, you can’t connect it so easily,” Axar said in the post-match press conference.

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