KXIP had a rather depressing last two outings in the IPL. They have performed inconsistently and paid the compensation for that, by getting placed at the last place. Their players haven’t been up to their task and experienced players haven’t joined the party. They haven’t had a single IPL trophy to their name, is a testament to their inconsistency.
Emergence of Axar Patel:-
In 2014, KXIP loaded its squad with power-hitters upfront, which paid dividend in the end. They performed exceedingly well in that edition of the IPL. They were defeated in the final by the mighty KKR, who ended their fairy tale run. In this good season for the team, it was the youngster from Gujarat, who hailed praises from everyone. He caught up the eyes of the selectors with his impeccable T20 style bowling and crucial innings with the bat. Axar didn’t have any prior experience to international cricket, which makes his contributions even more praise worthy.
Consistent performer for an inconsistent team:-
In 2015 and 2016, their hard hitting strategy back fired badly and they finished at the bottom of the table, on both the occasions. They were struggling to notch up good totals with their bat and even when they did, their bowlers were leading them down. There was nothing right about these two seasons, except the performances of Axar. In the inconsistent run of the team the youngster from Gujarat held his nerves and performed brilliantly. He was probably the only positive that KXIP could have taken out from these two seasons.
Numbers Don't Lie:-
He has scored runs and taken wickets at the important junctures of the match for quite some time now. He has an overall economy 7.37 in the IPL, which goes to show the control the young player has over the ball. He has scored more than 500 runs in his IPL career. All of his runs came at a point, when either the whole team got out early, or they needed a good finishing, which makes each of his runs nothing less than gold.
Didn’t get enough chances to play for India:-
His excellent performances didn’t go unnoticed and he got a call of the Indian National team. It was an emotional moment for the youngster, as his dream came true. He has bowled some very economical spells for India, in the absence of the star spinner Ravindra Jadeja. Albeit, he has not lived up to his potential with the bat in the national team, he has been a major asset for the team in the matches he has played for India. With a spinner like Jadeja in the team, he has been in and out of the team. His path has collided with a spinner who is at the peak of his career. This does not do any to his chances in the national team.
He should get more chances in the National team:-
The skinny lad has given his all, which is reflected in his performances. Even this year, he has saved his team of several occasions. He has not shown any flamboyancy and believes in doing his work effectively. However, after all that he has done, he has not got his due credit for his performances. He is like a silent guardian to KXIP and goes about his business in a professional manner. He is an indispensible member of the squad and is making solid statements to the national selectors. It is about time now, that selectors should look at rotating players and giving Axar few games on a trot. This would ease the pressure of Jadeja as well, who plays all the three formats of the game. We hope that BCCI sees the potential of the lad in time and does not let it go to waste.