Axar Patel maiden ODI fifty stunned West Indies to help India win the second ODI at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain on Sunday. His swashbuckling 64 not out off just 35 balls spoiled Shai Hope’s brilliant hundred on his 100th ODI.
Patel’s authoritative hitting towards the end did the job for India and also shows the kind of benchstrength the team has at their disposal. One of the best aspects of Patel’s entertaining innings was how he kept his cool under pressure with some of the cleanest hits to the fence.
While Patel’s whirlwind innings gave India their 12th consecutive bilateral ODI series win over West Indies, let’s take a look at some of the lower-order batting heroics from India batters in the last couple of years from now.
Ravindra Jadeja (175 Not Out) Vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test, 2022
Ravindra Jadeja’s 175 not out against Sri Lanka in the first Test in Mohali earlier this year has to be one of the best by a lower-order Indian batter in the history of the game. Coming in at No.7 after the dismissal of Shreyas Iyer, the southpaw toyed with the Lankan bowling attack and dispatched the opposition to every corner of the ground. During his 324-minute stay at the crease, Jadeja faced 228 balls and hit 17 boundaries and three sixes. During his knock, Ravindra Jadeja was involved in three hundred-plus stands with Rishabh Pant (104), Ravichandran Ashwin (130) and Mohammed Shami (103). India won that game by an innings and 222 runs.
Ravindra Jadeja (44 Not Out) Vs Australia, 1st T20, 2020
Although Ravindra Jadeja was ruled out of the match mid innings and rest the T20 series, India’s premier all-rounder did the job at hand diligently. It was during the first game of the three-match series against Australia. Put into bat first, India struggled to get going and were 92/5 in the 14th over. Jadeja initially took time in the middle before unleashing his prowess in the final two overs to take India to a winning total. From 12 runs off 12 balls, Jadeja skyrocketed to 34 off 19 balls at the end of 19th over that included three fours and a huge six over deep square leg off Josh Hazlewood. He added two more boundaries in the final over to finish at 44 not out off 23 balls. However, he had to be substituted during the innings break after getting hit on the helmet in the second ball of the final over from Mitchell Starc. Yuzvendra Chahal came as an concussion substitute as India won the game.
Ravindra Jadeja (66 Not Out) Vs Australia, 3rd ODI, 2020
In the same Australian tour, just before the T20 series, Ravindra Jadeja was once again at his absolute best. Having already lost the ODI series, India needed something big in the third and final ODI to finish on a high. Staring at a below-par total after being five down inside 32 overs, Ravindra Jadeja joined hands with Hardik Pandya to pull the visitors out of the mud. The left-hander played a brilliant 50-ball 66 that included five fours and three sixes and stitched a 150-run unbroken stand with Pandya help India past 300. India won the game by 13 runs.
Shardul Thakur (67) Vs Australia, 4th Test, 2020
Shadul Thakur played the innings of his life on third day of the fourth Test against Australia in Brisbane. In reply to Australia’s first innings total of 369, India were 186/6 in the 67th over when Shardul Thakur joined debutant Washington Sundar in the middle. On a Gabba track with the likes of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood bowling on the top of their pace, both Shardul and Sundar batted frustrated the opposition for 36 overs to take steady the Indian ship. While Sundar was more compact and organised, Thakur was the aggressor that characterises his batting down the order in limited-overs cricket. Thakur contributed with 67 with nine fours and two sixes and also played a crucial role in India winning in Brisbane.
Axar Patel (64 Not Out) Vs West Indies, 2nd ODI, 2022
Chasing a 300-plus total, India were in a spot of bother needing 100 off the last 10 overs and just five wickets in hand against West Indies in the second ODI. With all the big guns back in the hut, the responsibility was on Axar and Deepak Hooda to bail the team out. While Hooda played the anchor’s role decided to deal in boundaries. Patel smashed five sixes and three fours in his unconquered innings and added 51 off 33 balls with Deepak Hooda (33) before the latter was out. But wickets falling at the other end didn’t affect Axar as the Delhi Capitals star kept on piling pressure on the opposition. Needing six runs off last three balls, Patel clobbered Kyle Mayers straight over his head for a six to help India win the match and series. He finished at unbeaten 64 off 35 balls.