Saba Karim praised Axar Patel’s bowling in the last over of India and Sri Lanka’s T20I opener on January 3.
Sri Lanka needed 13 runs off the final over to win. Axar bowled the critical over and helped India win by two runs.
Karim said the left-arm spinner bowled well in the final over to help India defend. He said Axar rose to the challenge.
Karim told India News Sports:
“Due to a strained hamstring, Hardik Pandya didn’t bowl the final over. He gave it to Axar Patel because of this. Axar faced a daunting task. Never defend 13 runs against a big-shot batter.” “He bowled cleverly, making full-length deliveries difficult to smash. Except for one six, he was great.”
Axar’s wide outside off deliveries made Chamika Karunaratne’s life difficult. The Sri Lankan hitter smacked a six on the third ball, but the spinner came back to win.
Axar also batted well and bowled well. Left-handed batsman unbeaten after 20 balls. His unconquered 68-run sixth-wicket stand with Deepak Hooda boosted India’s total.
Saba Karim on Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel’s run-stand
Saba Karim said India struggled after losing wickets quickly in the first T20I.
Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel helped India produce a competitive total. Sixth-wicket partnership gave hosts optimism, Karim said.
“India appeared to struggle to achieve 150 runs. Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel helped them score well. Their alliance was crucial.”
Hardik Pandya and co. lead Sri Lanka 1-0 in T20Is. The second match will be played in Pune’s MCA Stadium on January 5.