I take it positively that I'm getting an opportunity: Axar Patel

Axar Patel & Shubman Gill
Axar Patel celebrates with Shubman Gill after picking up a wicket in the third ODI agaianst Zimbabwe. Photo: AFP/Jekesai Njikizana

Harare: It is a "little tough" to cool his heels after a couple of games but Axar Patel wants to put his best foot forward in his bid to use every opportunity that comes along his way.

A like-for-like replacement of Ravindra Jadeja, the left-arm spinner and useful lower-middle-order batter is still not an India regular although he has 50 plus wickets in ODIs since 2014.

"It is a little tough when you play two matches and suddenly you've to sit out," Axar said at the post-match press conference after India's 13-run win over Zimbabwe in the third ODI.

"And then again you play two or three matches. It's tough but I back myself and train my mind to think that this is the opportunity for you to do well," he said.

In a bid to strengthen its bench for the future and regulate the workload of its top players, the Indian team management, which has an abundance of talent at its disposal, keeps rotating cricketers.

Axar feels in such a situation it is good to keep a positive mindset and treat every game as an opportunity.

"If I do well here, I'll get to play the next game. I can also play with the (cribbing) mindset that I get dropped after getting a couple of opportunities but I take it in a positive way that I'm getting an opportunity to perform for India. If I do well, I'll improve myself. So it's on you how you take it."

India completed a 3-0 sweep of hosts Zimbabwe here on Monday.

The left-arm spinner snared two wickets, while giving away just 30 runs in his 10 overs, which also included a rare maiden over, in the third ODI.

"I thought this used pitch was a little bit dry and had something for the spinners. I bowled from the other end and tried to bowl the (on) stump lines. I was just waiting for the batter to commit some mistake and fortunately I got a maiden.”

Shubman Gill struck his maiden ODI hundred as he scored a 97-ball 130.

"The way he's batting, the way he's converting singles and doubles, the way he's not playing a lot of dot balls, that to me is the biggest positive," Axar said.

"When he's batting, there are always singles and twos coming and he's able to put the bad balls for boundaries. He players spinners well, rotates the strike and even plays the sweep and reverse sweep well."

Axar felt the Indian bowlers executed their plans in the three-match series.

"The bowlers were executing their plans. It was good to see the way Avesh (Khan) was bowling the yorkers and slower ones. The way Shardul (Thakur) was mixing up his slower ones and wide yorkers.

"Deepak (Chahar) got three wickets in his comeback match. The way we were executing the plans was a big positive," he added.

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