Took Gavaskar's criticism in my stride - Axar
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel has responded to criticism laid on him by former India captain Sunil Gavaskar in July by saying he was eager to prove his ability with consistent performances in India's upcoming busy limited-overs schedule.
Gavaskar had questioned Axar's abilities as a spinner and said he should not be an option that India should look at for Test cricket because "he just rolls the ball, he does not have the flight and his delieveries are very much predictable"
Axar, while surprised at such an assessment, was unfazed by it. "I was taken aback to be honest. I guess anyone would be, if it comes from somebody of the stature of Gavaskar sir," he told PTI. "He is a legend of the game. But then I thought everyone in the game including Sachin Tendulkar had to face criticism at some point. So I took it in my stride. I am sure sir (Gavaskar) will be happy if I can him prove him wrong.
"What I have learnt after all this is that one should not think negative for long irrespective of whatever is said about you. Amid this phase, I also got to know who my true friends were."
Axar, who has been picked in India's ODI squad for the tour of Australia, has taken 11 wickets in six games at an average of 16.63 and an economy rate of 3.05 for Gujarat in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy, to follow a Ranji Trophy season where he picked up 20 wickets in five matches.
"Australia is still sometime away. Right now the focus is to do well for Gujarat in the Vijay Hazare knock-outs," Axar said. "I have been experimenting with flighting the odd ball but I realise my strength is to bowl back of a length and trouble the batsman with bounce."