Left-arm spinner Axar Patel has credited India A teammate Shreyas Iyer in ensuring his smooth transfer from Kings XI Punjab to Delhi Capitals when he changed sides ahead of last year’s IPL. Axar had spent five years with KXIP before he was acquired by DC at the 2019 IPL auction for Rs five crore, and upon his arrival, claimed 10 wickets and 110 runs during last year.

“I’ve played with Shreyas at India A also, and when I came to Delhi Capitals, it was really easy for me because we bond really well. On the field, he gives freedom to his bowlers, and lets you adjust the fields. He is quite patient as well, and I have really enjoyed playing under him,” Axar, who last played for India in October 2017, said during the Capital’s Instagram Live chat.

Axar became one of the costliest Indian buys during the 2019 auction held in December 2018. After an intense bidding war between KXIP and DC former, it was the capitals who were able to get the left-arm spinner to their squad. During his five years with KXIP, Axar had grabbed 61 wickets from 68 games with scored 686 runs with the bad.

“I was sceptical at first because I had spent five years at the Punjab franchise, and I didn’t know where my future would lie. But when I was picked up by Delhi Capitals, I was really excited because the team had so many players I had played with before. It was a bit different in the first couple days when I joined the pre-season camp, but it took me no time to adjust into the team due to the mood in the squad,” he explained.

Axar revels in his performance during last year’s IPL and revealed a how he was bowled over by special gesture from coach/mentor Ricky Ponting as the Capitals made it to the Playoff.

“We had a great combination in our team, and the team environment was such that it brought out the best in all of us. Making it to the play-offs in my first season with the franchise was great.”

“Ricky would give a separate Man of the Match Award in the dressing room for someone who used to contribute to the team. I ended up winning it five times, and it ended up being a good recognition for me personally, and it felt good to have contributed to the team’s victories.”