[caption id="attachment_605379" align="aligncenter" width="628"]<a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/19-Akshar-Patel-of-Kings-XI-Punjab-celebrates-the-wicket-of-Shane-Watson2.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-605379" alt="Akshar Patel scored 38 runs and picked up three vital wickets to dent RCB s chase BCCI" src="https://www.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/19-Akshar-Patel-of-Kings-XI-Punjab-celebrates-the-wicket-of-Shane-Watson2.jpg" width="628" height="355" /></a> Akshar Patel scored 38 runs and picked up three vital wickets to dent RCB s chase BCCI[/caption] <p></p> <p></p>After spending an entire season of <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/tag/ipl" target="_blank">Indian Premier League</a> (IPL) with the Mumbai Indians (MI) on bench in the year 2013, Akshar Patel finally got his chances with <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/teams/kings-xi-punjab" target="_blank">Kings XI Punjab</a> (KXIP) in IPL 2014. Picked ahead of the old warhorse Murali Kartik in the playing XI, Akshar lived up to the management s faith, going on to become the Emerging Player of the Tournament . Since then, he has not just established himself as an integral part of KXIP, but also emerged as the franchise s man for all seasons. IPL also laid a foundation for him to play in the national side. Even in IPL 2017, Akshar remains to be his captain s man Friday. <p></p> <p></p>He invariably answers his captain s SOS calls with the ball, with the bat and even with his fielding skills. Against the <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/teams/delhi-daredevils" target="_blank">Delhi Daredevils</a> (DD) earlier this season, it was his 29-ball 44 that guided KXIP from a shaky 65 for 5 to 144. Though his effort came in a losing cause, it did lend the total some respectability. Against the Gujarat Lions (GL), his 17-ball 34, which had 3 fours and 2 sixes, helped his side get to a beyond-par total and win the contest by 26 runs. Returning with figures of 4-0-36-2, he was vital with the ball too. <p></p> <p></p>However, the most important contribution from Akshar came in the game against <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/teams/royal-challengers-bangalore" target="_blank">Royal Challengers Bangalore </a>(RCB). Batting first, KXIP were reeling at 78 for 5. In came Akshar, and scored a rapid 17-ball 38 not out. His side ended on 138 for 7, a total 19 runs too many for RCB. Importantly, his effort came on a sluggish track where some of the biggest names in world cricket struggled for runs. Akshar was equally good with the ball, taking 3 for 11. <p></p> <p></p>When he does not shine with either of bat or ball, Akshar comes up with spectacular display of athleticism on the field. Take, for example, KXIP s recent match against the <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/teams/kolkata-knight-riders" target="_blank">Kolkata Knight Riders</a> (KKR) on Tuesday. After scoring 10-ball 8 not out and going wicket-less in the match, Akshar found other ways of taking wickets. In the 10th over of KKR s chase, Akshar produced a blinder to get rid of danger-man <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/players/robin-uthappa" target="_blank">Robin Uthappa</a>. KKR s best batsman this season, Uthappa fell for a duck trying to slog the bowler over deep midwicket. However, Akshar, who came running in from the boundary and made a full-stretched dive, pouched the ball and did not let it slip from his hands after landing. More than the bowler Rahul Tewatia, it was Akshar s wicket. <p></p> <p></p>He was not done yet. In the 18th over, when <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/players/chris-lynn" target="_blank">Chris Lynn</a> was still going great guns and looked set to snatch the victory from KXIP s claws, Akshar ran him out with a superb throw from the outfield. A tired-looking Lynn took on the wrong man, as Akshar s accurate throw landed in the keeper s gloves on one bounce from deep midwicket. <p></p> <p></p>Talking about this season, Akshar has made a silent-yet-telling contribution in all the departments. He is in the top-five in the list of most runs and wickets for KXIP (5th and 3rd respectively). In fielding, he is second to none. With 6 wins from 12 games, KXIP are still in with a chance to make it to the playoffs mathematically. Needless to say, Akshar will have a crucial role to play in his side s bid to make it to the playoffs, and beyond that once through.