'See myself as batting allrounder'- Akshar
Kings XI Punjab's Akshar Patel said he was happy with the opportunity to show his potential as a batting allrounder during the side's four-wicket win against Barbados Tridents.
Coming in to bat at No. 8 with 44 needed off the last 21 balls, Akshar shared an unbeaten 47-run, seventh-wicket stand with David Miller which helped Kings XI achieve the 175-run target with two balls to spare. The left-arm spinner scored 23 off 9 balls, and slammed three fours and a six off Ravi Rampaul in the penultimate over to ease Kings XI's chase.
"Being an allrounder, if one hasn't been able to contribute with the ball, then you would like to make a difference with the bat. I see myself as a batting allrounder. But there weren't too many opportunities to show that," Akshar told CLT20.com. "On a couple of occasions, I had missed the chance to make a difference with the bat and on another occasion I had helped win with the bat. And this was yet another chance to take the team across with the bat. Obviously I am feeling good that I have been able to contribute with the bat in a winning cause."
Akshar, who had given away 42 runs in his four overs during the Tridents innings, admitted he was wary of the opposition's spinners and said that Miller's support had helped him stay focused on rotating the strike and playing positive shots.
"When I went in to bat he [Miller] told me to hold on to my wicket and not think too much," Akshar said. "The focus was to play positively, take a single and give him the strike so he could finish the job at hand. That boosted my confidence and when I thought I could hit the ball, I did.
"Obviously I was very nervous. Their spinners, Jeevan Mendis and off-spinner (Ashley Nurse) were bowling well. So there was pressure. But at the end of the day, it was about thinking positively and batting till the end."
Akshar's innings also earned him praise from his team-mates, including captain George Bailey who said the allrounder's innings was "extraordinary".
"For a guy like Akshar to come in and hit his first 9 balls for 23 runs is extraordinary," the Kings XI captain said. "It's a beautiful batting wicket. I was proud of the way we bowled today."