Axar Patel’s batting in recent times has been a revelation. Everyone knew his ability as a bowler but it was his lower-order batting that has caught the eye and has, to some extent, made up for Ravindra Jadeja’s absence in white-ball cricket.
India batting coach Vikram Rathour said the team management had always believed Axar Patel had potential with the bat and that it gave the team an extra option.
“He is really batting well at the moment. We always believed that he had a lot of potential with the bat. He has worked on it The kind of all-rounders we have, three guys can bat really well. Washington Sundar, Axar Patel and I am sure Ravindra Jadeja will back soon. As a team it gives us extra options,’‘ he said.
On the third ODI against Sri Lanka, Rathour said it was another opportunity for the team to iron out grey areas. He also chose to put to rest the speculation on coach Rahul Dravid’s health saying the former India player was fit and was with the team.
“We have won the series, but there are still certain grey areas we would like to work on. Tomorrow’s match will be one more opportunity to resolve that,’‘ he said.
Sri Lanka coach Chris Silverwood said his team needed to replicate the way India exploited the conditions. He expected the bowlers to apply pressure and top six batters to be more consistent.
As a former fast bowler, Silverwood said he was very much impressed with Umran Malik. “I do enjoy seeing fast bowlers in action. I am impressed with the areas he bowled and he hit the length hard and got bounce. There is a lot to learn for us from the way he has bowled in this series,’‘ said Silverwood.
The Lankan coach was also impressed by the progress shown by young players like Nuwanidu Fernando and Dunith Wellage on this tour.