|Axar Rajeshbhai Patel
|January 20, 1994 Anand, Gujarat
|29 Years, 10 Months, 4 Days
|Slow left-arm orthodox
|India, Durham, India A, India B, India Red, West Zone, Punjab Kings, Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians, Gujarat, India Under-23, India C, Indians
Axar Patel is a left-arm orthodox spinner from the state of Gujarat. He started his journey in cricket at the age of 13 and made his FC debut for Gujarat when he was just 18, in a Vijay Hazare Trophy game against Mumbai in 2012. Though, his next season of 2013-14 was a more memorable one, performance wise, as he picked up 29 wickets and also scored important runs for the team.
In the sixth edition of the IPL, he was bought by the Mumbai but mainly was used as a fringe player as he was not part of any of the matches actively during the season. Punjab saw a talent that they thought they could utilize as they roped him in for the seventh edition of the IPL. This investment brought dividends as he performed well for Punjab as he picked 17 wickets during the course of the season. Axar also rightfully won the "Emerging Player of the Year" award in 2014. He was retained for the 2015 edition too by Punjab where he scored 206 runs down the order in addition to scalping wickets. Patel also scalped the only hat-trick of the 2016 season of the Indian T20 League. Later, Axar was bought by the Delhi franchise for the 2018 IPL and he continues to be with them since then.
Coming back to his Indian career, his good performances in the 2014 Indian T20 League bought him a ticket to Bangladesh for the ODI series in 2014. He played well against them and also his performances kept the talented Ravindra Jadeja out of the side for the ODI series against Sri Lanka at home. His good performances consistently made the selectors also pick him for the squad for the 2015 ICC World Cup. Due to the conditions in Australia being more pace friendly, he did not really get a chance to go out there and make an impact for the team. He did make it for the Indian squad that toured Bangladesh later in June.
Sadly for him, he did not make it to the squad for the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy as Jadeja was eventually selected. With his left-arm spin and his exploits with the bat lower down the order, he was always a valuable asset. After a gap of almost three years, Axar once again managed to find a place in the national team, for the Test series against England in 2021, once again due to the absence of Jadeja. Patel grabbed the opportunity with open arms and snapped 5-wicket hauls for fun. Axar also pocketed 11 wickets in the D/N Test in Ahmedabad and finished with the best bowling figures, overall.
Axar Patel finished with 27 wickets in that series and broke Ajantha Mendis' record for most wickets in the debut series in Test cricket. Soon Axar Patel extended his wings in Test cricket and during the home Test series against New Zealand in November 2021, he became the Indian with most five-wicket hauls in first four Tests. The promising all-rounder never fails to impress and remains in the mix across formats.