Axar Patel says he considers statemate Jadeja as a friend rather than a competing left-armer
New Delhi: In-form Axar Patel feels fully ready for his second tour of Australia and is not losing sleep over the close competition between him and Ravindra Jadeja for the number one left-arm spinner's role in the five ODIs Down Under.
Also read: Vijay Hazare Trophy - Gujarat in semis, thanks to Patels' show
Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja
Patel could not have made a stronger case for his inclusion in the playing eleven for the first ODI on January 12, after he helped Gujarat win their maiden Vijay Hazare Trophy by lapping up 19 wickets in nine matches at 14.63. However, it will be hard for MS Dhoni to pick him as R Ashwin's spin partner over Jadeja, who made a roaring return to international cricket in the Test series against South Africa and is now in both the ODI and T20 squads for the Australia tour.
"There is always going to be competition when you are playing for India but it has not come in the way of the personal rapport I share with some of the team members. "Jaddu bhai (Jadeja) is back, so there is going to be competition as most likely there will be only one left-arm spinner in the playing eleven. But that is how it is. It is nice that he is back in all formats. We are both from Gujarat and it is always fun to be in his company," Patel told PTI.
The selectors are trying out different players for the three T20 Internationals in Australia and Patel, who earned his India cap courtesy a stellar showing in IPL 2014, is disappointed to miss out from the T20 squad. "It is disappointing obviously. The World T20 is around the corner and it would have been good to play three matches in Australia.
"Having said that, my thinking is that if I keep doing well in ODIs and domestic cricket, it is a matter of time before I make a T20 return. There is nothing to worry as there is still some time left for the World T20," he said, referring to the tournament to be played in India. He is also putting in the hours on his batting and it was evident during the Vijay Hazare Trophy where he scored 220 runs at 36.66 with a highest score of 75.