Rahul Dravid’s ‘masterstroke’: Axar Patel reveals strategic change that saved India in T20 World Cup 2024 final

In the T20 World Cup 2024 final, India’s batting innings did not get the ideal start. India lost captain Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant in the 2nd over. Then, in the 5th over, it was Suryakumar Yadav. India were 34/3 in 4.3 overs. After that, it was Rahul Dravid who apparently came up with a “masterstroke” that not only settled India’s innings but gave it a necessary push.

Axar Patel was promoted in the batting order, but it was not the initial plan. The Indian all-rounder revealed what exactly happened after India had lost 3 quick wickets.

Dinesh Karthik asked Patel why he had been promoted in the batting order to come ahead of specialist batters like Hardik Pandya and Shivam Dube or even Ravindra Jadeja. On being asked if he expected to bat higher in the batting order, Axar said, “Not today.”

“I thought I would be going down the order. But when we lost three wickets early, suddenly Rahul bhai told me, ‘Axar, pad up.’ I did not even get the chance to think about my batting, so that worked for me,” Axar told DK on Star Sports.

The Axar Patel factor

Axar joined Virat Kohli, who maintained a “slow-but-steady” attitude in his batting after having a quick start in the first over itself. Axar took charge to keep the scoreboard moving.

Axar hit 4 sixes and 1 four to score 47 off 31 balls before South African wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock ran him out with a brilliant presence of mind.

Axar Patel, however, did what he had been sent for. He put up a 72-run partnership with Kohli to take India to 106/4 in 13.3 overs. India ended at 176/7 in 20 overs. In reply, South Africa’s innings ended at 169/8. India won the T20 World Cup after 17 years.

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Published: 01 Jul 2024, 03:03 PM IST

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