Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh lavished rich praise on all-rounder Akshar Patel for his tremendous knock in the first innings of the fourth Test against Australia being played in Ahmedabad on March 12, 2023.
Akshar Patel and Virat Kohli added an important 162 runs for the 6th wicket and while Virat Kohli slammed a majestic 186, Akshar contributed 79 much-welcomed runs which boosted India’s score and helped them get a 91-run lead in the end.
Harbhajan said that Akshar has been phenomenal with the bat as he hasn't had too many opportunities to shine with the ball and said that the batter has put India ahead in the game with his quick knock.
"Well, he's been phenomenal with the bat. He didn't get too many chances with the ball in this particular series because Jadeja was doing the damage. Ashwin bowled well in the series. So, I feel as a batter, you know Axar coming at No.8 or 9 and scoring those winning knocks, 70 in Delhi and another one in Nagpur.
I think those two innings were the difference to India winning those two games. Here also, he put India ahead in this game by scoring those runs in quick fashion and, of course, good to see him evolving himself as an all-rounder more with the bat now, since he has got the opportunity and he is making the most of it and it's good to see that he's not shying away," said Harbhajan to India Today.
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Harbhajan also highlighted that Akshar was focused on his own batting and was not thinking about what Kohli was doing at the other end.
"When someone like Virat Kohli is batting on the other side, and he is not thinking about what he is doing. He knows that when the ball is coming in his zone, he is going to hit it. That's his natural game and I'm so glad India is producing such talent and giving them this freedom that they can go out there and explore themselves.
Akshar is one of those talents we need to look after and take care of him because he can bowl, he can bat, he can win you games coming down the order," said Harbhajan.
Apart from Kohli and Akshar, Shubman Gill (128), KS Bharat (44) and Cheteshwar Pujara (42) were the other main run-getters for India.