Axar: 'Had to leave my coffee untouched and run out to bat'

The allrounder had to rush onto the field after Capitals had lost three wickets in an over

Axar Patel helped arrest Delhi Capitals' collapse  •  BCCI

Axar Patel helped arrest Delhi Capitals' collapse  •  BCCI

With Delhi Capitals just two wickets down at the start of the eighth over against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Axar Patel was getting ready to enjoy a hot cup of coffee. But before he knew it, he had to rush out to bat, leaving the coffee untouched, as Washington Sundar picked up three wickets in an over to rattle Capitals.
Axar ended up scoring a run-a-ball 34 as he batted almost 10 overs with Manish Pandey, with the pair adding 69 for the sixth wicket.
The partnership helped Capitals get to 144, which proved to be enough as they won the game by seven runs.
"I didn't even realise what's going on. I had just ordered coffee and I had to leave that cup of coffee as it was because I found out we had lost three wickets in one over, so I had to run and go straight in to bat," Axar said at the post-match presentation.
"Once I went in to bat then I had a chance to think about what is going on. [Manish] Pandey and I were there and Pandey said that the deeper we could take it the better it is because if we have some runs we can put up a fight."
And what happened to the cup of coffee? "Yes that coffee stayed there near my bag," he said with a chuckle.
Axar also played an important role with the ball in Capitals' defence, returning 2 for 21. He picked up the wickets of Mayank Agarwal (49) and opposition captain Aiden Markram (3).
He rated his batting performance highly, saying that made it possible for him to do what he did with the ball on a slow, grippy pitch.
"Obviously [the pitch] was a little slow. The ball was stopping," Axar said. "Kuldeep [Yadav] and I have bowled in partnerships even on the Delhi wickets, so when I batted I thought that Kuldeep and I can trap the batters. So the more runs I could score the better for us. So that was the plan and the way Kuldeep and I bowled, we had fun."
Mayank became Axar's first victim on the night when he picked out Aman Khan at long-on, but it was Markram's wicket that he cherished more. He got the South African to chop on as he cramped him for room with a slower ball.
"I keep bowling batters but getting him [Markram] with the slower ball, that I enjoyed more," Axar said.
Although he won his first Player of the Match trophy in IPL 2023 on Monday, Axar has been a consistent performer for Capitals in what has been a rough season so far. Only David Warner has scored more runs than him for them this year, and only Kuldeep Yadav has more wickets.
"Yeah, I need to make it bigger [his trophy cabinet] so that's why I am collecting them from now only, so I know how big I need to build it," Axar joked.