Delhi Capitals spinner Axar Patel has credited skipper Shreyas Iyer for helping him adjust to his new IPL team smoothly after spending half-a-decade with Kings XI Punjab.
The 26-year-old was picked up by the Delhi Capitals in the IPL 2019 Auction for Rs 5 crore and picked up 10 wickets apart from scoring 110 runs in his first season.
“I’ve played with Shreyas at India A also, and when I came to Delhi Capitals, it was really easy for me because we bond really well,” he said while speaking on the franchise’s official Instagram handle during a live session.
“On the field, he gives freedom to his bowlers, and lets you adjust the fields. He is quite patient as well, and I have really enjoyed playing under him.”
Patel said he was worried about his future at the time of auction.
“I was sceptical at first because I had spent five years at the Punjab franchise, and I didn’t know where my future would lie. But when I was picked up by Delhi Capitals, I was really excited because the team had so many players I had played with before.
“It was a bit different in the first couple days when I joined the pre-season camp, but it took me no time to adjust into the team due to the mood in the squad,” he said.
Reflecting on his first season with the franchise, Patel said, “I feel when you’re winning, the feeling is really different and the confidence is high.
“We had a great combination in our team, and the team environment was such that it brought out the best in all of us. Making it to the play-offs in my first season with the franchise was great.”
Head Coach Ricky Ponting would reward a top-performing player with an exclusive badge and Patel said he won it a number of times.
“Ricky would give a separate Man of the Match Award in the dressing room for someone who used to contribute to the team. I ended up winning it five times, and it ended up being a good recognition for me personally, and it felt good to have contributed to the team’s victories,” he said.