Axar Patel, the left-arm spinner, expressed high praise for Jasprit Bumrah, the Indian pacer, following India’s convincing 47-run victory over Afghanistan in their Super 8 clash of the T20 World Cup at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown.

After India set a target of 182 runs, the bowlers, led by Bumrah, took control of the game early on, ensuring Afghanistan never threatened the target. Bumrah, described by Axar as a ‘world-class bowler,’ played a pivotal role with figures of 3/7. This performance continued Bumrah’s impressive run in the tournament, having already been named Player of the Match against Ireland and Pakistan earlier.

Axar Patel highlighted the depth in India’s bowling lineup, emphasizing that having such quality bowlers allows the team to navigate through tough situations effectively. He mentioned that while Bumrah’s contributions were significant, each player focuses on their own role and what they can contribute in any given situation. Axar himself made an impact by dismissing Rahmanullah Gurbaz during his first over, shortly after Bumrah’s initial spell.

Rohit Sharma and other team members also lauded Bumrah’s performance, underscoring his reliability and ability to turn matches around with his exceptional bowling. Axar Patel’s comments reflect a team ethos where each player understands their responsibilities and appreciates the contributions of their teammates, especially in high-stakes matches like those in the T20 World Cup.

“See, obviously Jasprit Bumrah is a world-class bowler, and you know that with the quality of bowlers we have on our side – we can get out of a tough situation. So, at that time you have to think about what you have, what is your strength, what are your weaknesses. So don’t think much about what the other bowler did, like you said in partnerships we should bowl like this. I was just thinking that on this wicket what works for me? Like, after 1-2 balls, I realised that if I change the pace and length, it is better on this wicket. That’s what I was doing,” Axar stated in a post-match press conference.

“I was not thinking that he has bowled so well from the other end, I will have to do this and that. If I think that way, I am putting more pressure on myself. I was thinking about how I could give my best in this situation. That was my plan and I was bowling with that thinking,” he attachd. Axar revealed that Mhambrey does not intervene much with Bumrah and his approach, as the Indian pacer continued his impressive success in the T20 World Cup 2024. Axar stated that Bumrah knows what to do and what not to do. The spinner said India bowling coach Paras does not interfere much with the pacer because he does not want to confuse Bumrah and the bowling coach simply encourages the pacer to carry out the plans he has.

“I don’t think anyone talks much about Bumrah’s bowling He has an idea of what to do and what not to do. So I think when it is going so well, I don’t think the bowling coach is giving so much input that there is some confusion in his mind. He just says that you are doing well, whatever thinking you are doing is also going well. So, I think, as much as I have seen, the bowling coach doesn’t interfere much. He says this during planning that whatever your mindset is, it is clear, so just execute your plans,” he attached.

Axar Patel provided insights into India’s strategic decision to include left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav in their Super 8 match against Afghanistan during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 in the Caribbean. This adjustment marked a departure from their usual pace-heavy approach in earlier matches played in the United States of America.

In their first Super 8 encounter, India opted to replace pacer Mohammed Siraj with Kuldeep Yadav, who hadn’t played in the tournament until then. Kuldeep made an immediate impact, securing figures of 2/32 in his allotted overs.

Axar Patel elaborated on the dynamics of having three left-arm spinners, including himself, Ravindra Jadeja, and Kuldeep Yadav, in the squad. He emphasized the importance of understanding his role as a spinner, whether bowling in the powerplay, middle overs, or towards the end of an innings. Axar acknowledged the team management’s role in determining the strategy but stressed that as a player, he focuses on executing his role effectively whenever called upon.

Reflecting on specific game situations, Axar mentioned his approach in critical overs, such as the 16th over against Pakistan, where he aimed to restrict runs to benefit the team. His adaptability and readiness to fulfill different bowling roles underscored the versatility and depth India possesses in their bowling lineup.

Axar’s comments highlighted the flexibility and strategic acumen within the Indian team, where tactical adjustments like bringing in Kuldeep Yadav can complement their traditional strengths, such as pace bowling. This adaptive approach is crucial in high-stakes tournaments like the T20 World Cup, where matchups and conditions can vary significantly from game to game.

“So, basically according to the situation, I plan my bowling and as you said there are 3 left-arm spinners, so obviously the wickets here, I feel there is an advantage. There are 3 left-arm spinners out of which we have 2 finger spinners and 1 wrist spinner. I have played with all of them very well. I think the combination of the three of us is very good. We have a good team. We communicate well. Like whoever comes to bowl first, we communicate what is working and what is not. I think that is very important when you bowl as a bowling unit,” The teams in the Super 8s stage have a short turnaround, with India playing Bangladesh in Antigua on June 22 and Afghanistan facing Australia in St Vincent on the same day.

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