Akshar Patel © Getty Images
Akshar Patel is the youngest member of the Indian squad at the ICC World Cup 2015 © Getty Images

Akshar Patel is the youngest player in the Indian squad for the ICC World Cup 2015. With only little international experience being him, Akshar brings in valuable talent to the table. Varun Arora feels his inclusion could bring great value to the side.

The 21-year-old Akshar Patel has been one of the finds for Indian cricket in the recent times. The tall, lanky left-handed all-rounder brings great value to the team. . Going into the ICC World Cup 2015, Akshar has the experience of playing in only 13 One-Day Internationals (ODI) and is one of the newest and freshest bloke inducted in the Indian team.

Akshar brings in with him an enormous capability to be utilised in various situations in the 50-over format. A left-arm orthodox bowler brings with himself a capability to pick wickets and at the same time do that without conceding too many runs.

Akshar came into spotlight with his outing with Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). He had earlier been a part of Mumbai Indians but never got an opportunity to play a game.  Soon enough he became pivotal part of the franchise and also an economical bowler who could be deployed under any situation. He also had his moments with the bat when he swung around his team’s fortune with his vivid strokes. He was soon rewarded a place in the Indian team for the Bangladesh tour.

Akshar had a tough time with the bat and a somewhat average outing with the ball in the recently concluded triangular series against England and Australia. Out of the three innings he played he got out for no score twice while he managed a run against England at Perth. Plus he only managed to grab three wickets in the four matches he played.

Akshar brings in with him much needed balance to the team. He is a useful left-arm spinner who doesn’t flight the ball but loves to dart in quicker deliveries which are difficult to put away. George Bailey used him well as a bowler during the IPL to help KXIP’s charge to the final.  But Akshar admits to be rather called a batting all-rounder. At No. 8 or No. 7, Akshar is not a slogger who would come out and bash everything which comes his way rather he is one of those kinds who could switch between both the roles under any circumstances.

The biggest challenge for Akshar would be pick up wickets Down Under. He would be surely employed during the  powerplay overs but his main challenge would be to put in more variations during his full quota. He could also experimented with bat during crunch situations. He could very well play Ravindra Jadeja’s role if the Saurashtra all-rounder struggles to regain 100 per cent fitness ahead of the World Cup.

(Varun Arora is a reporter with CricketCountry. He started as a medium-fast bowler, converted to an opening batsman, but finally settled with his passion of writing about the game. His Twitter handle is @varunjgd)