India skipper Virat Kohli believes Axar Patel can serve India for a long time provided he remains fit and keeps working on his all-around skills. Axar has had a dream start to his Test career, picking up 36 wickets in just five Tests. He got to make his Test debut against England earlier this year and picked 27 wickets in just three Tests. Against New Zealand, he proved his mettle on sportive tracks in Kanpur and Mumbai.
The 27-year-old ended up taking nine wickets in two Tests and complimented Ravi Ashwin nicely. Axar has five 5-wicket hauls to go with one 10 wicket haul in his short Test career. He also scored a crucial half-century in the first innings of the Mumbai Test. During the post-match conference, skipper Kohli lavished praise on Axar and said he brings a lot of value to the team due to his all-around skills. Kohli also admitted if the all-rounder can keep his fitness, he can serve India for long.
“Axar is obviously is an all-rounder cricketer. His skill sets provide a good balance to any team he plays for precisely why he is performing well for so long in T20 cricket and Test too whenever he is given an opportunity. The good thing to see is he is adapting his game according to the need of the format,” Kohli said.
“Which I think is a great sign, if he can keep his fitness levels up, if he can keep working on his game then you know he has a potential to play for a long time and that’s basically the need of the hour in today’s cricket.
“If you can’t keep up your fitness level it becomes more and more difficult. At the moment he is going through a great phase and I wish him all the success. I hope he stays fit and hungry to play for a long time,” he added.