Axar Patel‘s 32 wickets in only 7 Test innings is no small feat. After Kanpur heroics and bringing India back in the game, Axar says that the secret to his success lies in enjoying his craft and believing that he can’t be ‘pigeon-holed’ as a T20 specialist.

The left-arm spinner lit up Kanpur with his brilliant figures of 5/62 to give India an upper hand in the first Test of the two-match series against New Zealand.

It was his fifth fifer in just seven completed Test innings, an incredible feat in its own way even if he bowled in spin-friendly conditions.

“Whenever I have played first-class or India A, I have done well. I have never seen myself as a white-ball specialist,” Axar said, making it clear that he doesn’t like being bracketed.

For the left-arm orthodox from Gujarat, it’s all in the mind.

“It’s all in mindset as to what you perceive yourself as – a white-ball specialist or red ball specialist. I always had the belief that whenever I get a chance I will do well,” Axar added.

“Obviously, I give credit to team members for having faith in me and I have been able to stand up to their expectations.”

When asked if he feels extra pressure that two world-class spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are also in the same eleven, he said: “Whenever I go to the ground, I try and enjoy and not think about whether Ashwin bhai and Jaddu are there.”

“When I have the ball in my hand, I just try and see to it that I am enjoying my bowling, trying to read the wicket and understand what’s happening, how it’s behaving and plan accordingly,” he elaborated.

He is not at all bothered whether he has a lead role or a supporting one.

“I don’t think about whether my role is a lead one or whether there are senior bowlers around me, I only think about my bowling and what is required to be done in that particular spell,” he added.