Team India’s new spin sensation Axar Patel’s sister Shivani Patel, who lives in Canada, had no interest in cricket. Let alone watching the game on TV, she never even discussed the game with her brother.
However, times have changed since her brother made his debut for Team India in the recently concluded Test series against England. Now she hardly misses to follow her brother’s performance.
Speaking exclusively to us over the telephone from Toronto, Shivani, who is three years Axar’s elder, said she was speechless when she saw him holding the winning trophy. “I wish I was in the stadium witnessing this special moment for him,” said an emotional Shivani.
“It’s a very special moment for the entire family. I feel immensely proud of what he achieved in his debut Test cricket — especially that he took more than ten wickets in both the games on the home pitch.”
Shivani, probably one of Axar’s biggest fans now, says she always believed he is a gifted cricketer with immense talent, who deserves playing across all formats. “It’s like my dream-come-true watching him in whites after six years of hard work and his passion to keep learning and performing at all levels of white ball crickets, IPL etc.,” she remarks, reiterating how she wished she’d been in the stadium screaming ‘Axar… Axar’ when he lifted the trophy.
Shivani says captain Virat Kholi made it special for Axar by giving him the chance to lift the trophy. “It was so nice of him asking Axar to lift the trophy,” adds Shivani. “It unites the team members and junior players are never felt aloof in the side.”
Then she adds, “I personally believe Axar has done exceedingly well during his debut and all the three Tests he played in.” Nothing can take away the pride in her voice when she recounts her happiness on watching her brother play his maiden Test and get the Player of the Match award after playing only his second Test match.
“I saw my brother taking wickets one after the other with India’s other spinner, R Ashwin. It was amazing….”
Shivani is still reeling from the effect of her brother taking 27 wickets in the three tests. “Wow-27 wickets in three Tests… I can’t believe it. Even back home in Nadiad in Gujarat, our parents, Preeti Ben and Rajesh Bhai, are happy and immensely proud to see Axar’s performance. They have made many sacrifices to see Axar where he is right now. It’s payback time and for them to enjoy these special moments,” she says.