WATCH: "Plan was to not bowl in his range,” Akshar Patel opens on his critical over against Imad Wasim during India-Pakistan game

Akshar played a key role in India’s narrow six-run victory over the arch-rivals.

Yuzvendra Chahal interviewing his Indian teammates | BCCI/ScreengrabIndia all-rounder Akshar Patel opened up about the critical over he bowled against Imad Wasim during the T20 World Cup 2024 match against Pakistan at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York on Sunday (June 9).

Akshar played a key role in India’s narrow six-run victory over the arch-rivals. On a two-paced tricky wicket, the southpaw scored 20 off 18 balls while batting at No. 4 and then returned with the figures of 1/11 in his two overs.  

The highlight of his performance was the over he bowled Imad when Pakistan needed just 37 runs off 36 balls with six wickets in hand. Akshar deceived the Pakistan all-rounder with his left-arm spin and gave away just two runs in that over.

"The plan was to not bowl in his range, as it was windy, so I didn't want him to hit six in the mid-wicket. That's why I spoke to the captain and told him that I need a point so that I can put it in the cut because the shot is also very difficult, it's okay if it's hit, otherwise it was very difficult. That's why I tried that," Akshar said while speaking to Yuzvendra Chahal in a video posted by the BCCI on their social media handle.

Rishabh Pant, who was India’s top scorer with 42 off 31 balls against Pakistan, reflected on his crucial partnership with Akshar.

The duo shared a crucial 39-run stand as Akshar was sent to bat at No. 4 after the early wickets of Indian openers.

"There was nothing in my mind as such. Was just trying to hit with a positive mindset and keep it simple. The India-Pakistan match is always packed with pressure. When Baapu came, he practiced at 3-4th position in IPL. So when your mate comes in you get comfortable, as we were getting comfortable without thinking about anything," Pant said.

India pacer Mohammed Siraj, who made a crucial contribution of 7 runs, said that he worked really hard on his batting skills.

"I practiced a lot in the nets even during the IPL. The runs from tailenders prove to be really crucial. In the end, we got to know how crucial my runs were, so I am really happy that we won," Siraj said.

This was India’s second consecutive victory in the ongoing T20 World Cup and they are currently leading the Group A points table.

The Rohit Sharma-led side will next face tournament co-host USA in New York on Wednesday (June 12).


By Salman Anjum - 11 Jun, 2024

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