Chennai, April 26: India all-rounder Axar Patel made an instant impact on his return as he played a vital role to help Delhi Capitals pull off a close match against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL 2021 here at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday (April 25).
After the scores were levelled at 159 by the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the end of their designated 20 overs, Axar - playing his first game of the tournament - put his hand up to help his team seal the deal in the Super Over. Axar conceded just 7 runs to SRH batsmen in the Super Over which the Delhi batsmen had no trouble overhauling and register a famous win.
"After the scores were levelled, I told Rishabh (Pant) that I could bowl well on this wicket, and he could consider me for the Super Over as well. I knew that it was not going to be easy for the batsmen to score runs on this pitch. Then Rishabh spoke to Ricky (Ponting) and they decided to give the ball to me," said the 27-year-old, who conceded just 7 runs in the Super Over.
Axar, who played his first match after recovering from COVID-19, said that he was emotional to be playing alongside his teammates again, "I was nervous before the game, but once I did some warm-up sessions with the team, I was fine. I was emotional to be amongst my close friends and teammates again since I was back in action after being in quarantine for 20 days, but everyone backed me to do well, and they trusted me even more than I trusted myself."
When asked if he changed his preparation plan for the match against SRH because of the 20-day quarantine period, Axar said, "I didn't change my preparation plan for this match in any way. I followed the routine that I usually follow. I didn't think much about the fact that I am coming out of 20 days of quarantine. I just wanted to carry forward the rhythm I had in the Test series against England. and I wanted to stay in a positive frame of mind. Yes, I did practice more than usual because I came back after a break from cricket, but I followed my usual routines during practice."
The all-rounder expressed that the Delhi Capitals, who defeated Mumbai Indians in their last match, couldn't have asked for a better outing in Chennai, "We won two out of two matches in Chennai, so we couldn't have put in a better performance at this venue. And when a close match falls in the team's favour, then the team's confidence gets a major boost. We haven't discussed our plans for the Ahmedabad leg yet. We are taking one match at a time and staying in the present as much as possible."
The Delhi Capitals are set to face off against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their next encounter at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on Tuesday(April 27). The Delhi franchise will play a total of four matches in Ahmedabad.