Axar Patel was a surprise choice for the Man of the Match award in Dubai on Monday night after Delhi Capitals defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by 59 runs. Patel's two wickets for 18 off four overs may not be as impressive as Kagiso Rabada's four for 24, but the lanky left-arm spinner got the breakthroughs when DC wanted most.
Left-arm spinners have not come to the party in IPL 2020 as yet but Axar Patel found turn on the Dubai wicket and even caught someone like Virat Kohli by surprise. Patel bowled in the good areas and got the ball to turn away from the batsmen, something the leg-spinners have been doing in this tournament.
Axar Patel, who replaced the injured Amit Mishra, got the wickets of Aaron Finch and Moeen Ali, dragging both batsmen to play in-discretionary strokes with the run-rate mounting for RCB in the middle overs.
"The way the wicket was, I knew it was holding up. So, I was ready to bowl in the Powerplay. And you can see the results for yourself," said Patel in a post-match chat.
"I spoke to the batsmen who told me it was stopping at them. So, my plan was to bowl my stock ball, but bowl them within the stumps and also keep changing the pace. I was looking to defend when I just started, but when the third ball turned, I changed gears and got into attack mode," said Axar Patel.
It was Delhi Capitals' fourth win in five matches. Skipper Shreyas Iyer could not have asked for more. "Our strategy was to be fearless and play with full freedom. We have got good youngsters in our side, so we just need to go out and execute our talent and skills. I am very happy with the way things are going so far, and we need to keep up the momentum," Iyer said.
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