Axar Patel, Shikhar Dhawan credit ‘IPL experience’ after series win against West Indies
Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson also chipped in with crucial half-centuries in the middle but the day belonged to Axar Patel.
Axar Patel smashed his maiden ODI fifty and led India to a thrilling final over win over West Indies in Trinidad on Monday. The all-rounder smashed an unbeaten 64 off 35 balls, which included three fours and five maximums. With this India have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. Patel arrived at the crease when India were batting at 205/5 in 38.4 overs in a 312-run chase. He built his inning by initially rotating the strike, before he launched Akeal Hosein for a six in the eighth ball of his 35-ball inning. With India requiring 100 runs from the last 10 overs and five wickets in hand, Patel maintained the tempo hitting the boundaries in between the overs as India lost three more wickets during the run-chase.
Patel credited the experience of playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for his match-winning performance. "It's very special. It came at a crucial time and also helped the team to win the series," the 28-year-old said after collecting the man-of-the-match award. “When I went out, I aimed for 10-11 an over. We thought it could be done because of our IPL experience. We just needed to remain calm and keep the intensity up,” he added.
Patel, who is coming into India's 50-over setup after a long gap was content with his performance and hoped to continue performing like this for the team.
Shai Hope also had a brilliant day with the bat, smashing a century in his 100th ODI. Hope scored 115 off 135 balls, while skipper Nicholas Pooran scored 74 from the West Indies camp.
Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson also chipped in with crucial half-centuries in the middle but the day belonged to Patel, who also claimed a wicket with his left-arm spin.
Shikhar Dhawan also echoed similar views and said the IPL experience had prepared them for such high-scoring chases. "Our domestic and IPL cricket keep us ready ... As Axar said, he's done it multiple times in IPL."
The teams meet again for the third and final ODI on Wednesday, which will be followed by a five-match T20 series.
-with Reuters inputs