India's left-arm spinner Akshar Patel bagged the Player of the Match award for his outstanding bowling performance against New Zealand in the third T20I on Sunday (November 21). With the win by 73 runs in Eden Gardens, India whitewashed New Zealand by 3-0 in the T20I series.
Akshar picked up the wickets of Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman, and Glenn Phillips which put a brake on New Zealand's run chase. They were eventually bundled out on 111 runs in 17.2 overs.
After the match, Harshal Patel, who was named as the 'Game changer' in India's win, had a chat with Akshar. Harshal asked the spinner to share his views on his match-winning performance.
“It feels great to start your over with a wicket. It gives you a different level of confidence. The ball was stopping (off the pitch) and it was spinning, so I was having a lot of fun. That's why I believe I got three wickets in the Powerplay,” Akshar said. He jokingly added, "It looks like Patels are winning everything."
Harshal also spoke about his Player of the Match award on India's debut in the second T20I. “It was an exceptional feeling. I mean, I didn't expect the debut match to go this well because all my debuts before today have never been this good.
"But I executed my skills well and the result was also in our favor and we ended up winning the game. I don't know, we haven't decided it but it seems like the Man of the Match will stay between us Patels!", he said.
The Haryana cricketer got a place in the T20I squad due to his eye-catching bowling performance in the IPL 2021 for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Commenting on what has changed in the last two years, Harshal said, "The change for me has mainly been in the mindset."
"I had all these skills before as well. The mindset change in the last two years has got me the results. And whatever I did in the IPL, I had decided to carry the same mindset in this series. Those things are working for me and I am very happy about it."