Akshar Patel took three wickets in the ODI series and two in the T20Is © AFP
Akshar Patel took three wickets in the ODI series and two in the T20Is © AFP

India’s coach for tour to Zimbabwe Sanjay Bangar has heaped praise on Akshar Patel, lauding him for his ability to maintain pressure. Akshar featured in each and every match of the tour, playing all the three ODIs and T20Is. Despite grabbing three wickets in the ODI series and two wickets in the T20Is, he was one of the better bowlers in the team. In the 50-over matches, he bowled 27.3 overs and conceded mere 64 runs at an economy rate of less than 2 RPO. He was similarly effective in the T20Is, conceding less than 5 RPO. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Zimbabwe, 3rd T20I Match

Speaking after India’s close 3-run win, Bangar heaped praises of Akshar’s ability to keep things tight. “Not just today, throughout the series, he kept the pressure on. Probably, he’s the most economical bowler. He was very very consistent. He maintained that pressure throughout,” quoted cricbuzz.

Akshar also managed to score a few runs with the bat, showing his prowess as an all-rounder. And Bangar, who works with the player in the IPL with Kings XI Punjab, also spoke about his batting ability. “The way he finishes the innings… he got an opportunity in the two T20 games, the first and the third, and he’s proving to be a very good developing player at No. 7 or 8, who is capable of hitting the big shots. I think that’s encouraging for Indian cricket.”

India ended their tour to Zimbabwe winning both the ODI and T20I series. They were too good for the hosts in the 50-over format, whitewashing them 3-0. But Zimbabwe did show fight in the T20Is, winning the first match and nearly winning the third and final game.