Left-arm spinner eager to perform well during ODI series in Australia and provide a fitting response to batting icon's criticism
New Delhi: Left-arm spinner Axar Patel has taken Sunil Gavaskar's stinging criticism in his stride and says he is determined to prove the former India captain wrong with consistent performances, starting with the five ODIs in Australia next month.
Any established international cricketer will probably pay heed to what Gavaskar has to say about him, but for a newbie like Patel, it was an eye opener.
"I was taken aback to be honest. I guess anyone would be, if it comes from somebody of the stature of Gavaskar sir. 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 prove him wrong," Patel told PTI from Alur where he is playing the Vijay Hazare Trophy for Gujarat.
Gavaskar ruled him out as India's alternative spinner in Tests, called him a mere roller of the ball and someone who is predictable because he mainly bowls flat and doesn't offer flight.
Gavaskar made the compelling comments against Patel in July but the selectors continue to have faith in his abilities, at least in the shorter formats. The tenacious tweaker will be up for selection in the five ODIs Down Under though he doesn't find a place in the T20 squad.
"Fortunately, I have been a part of the ODI set-up since then (July) and performing decently," said the Anand-born cricketer who has played 22 ODIs and four T20 Internationals.