After another impressive performance by Akhsar Patel in the Champions League T20 match against Cape Cobras here on Sunday night, Kings XI Punjab skipper George Bailey heaped praise on the young bowler from Gujarat, saying he can be a "real" match winner. (Highlights | Pictures)
"He can bowl in any situation and can be a real match-winner for us. So, that has been really pleasing. In terms of an all-round package, he is pretty special. In terms of his batting, in terms of his fielding skills, he is important to us. And his bowling tops it off," Bailey told reporters after the match.
Punjab beat Cape Cobras by seven wickets to finish on top of Group B with four wins. The 20-year-old Patel, who is eyeing a berth in the series against the West Indies, took three wickets for 15 runs and was declared Man of the Match.
Bailey said that the left-arm orthodox bowler does a good containing and wicket-taking act.
"He contains, he takes wickets and he does it with a short sleeved shirt which is pleasing," he said.
Earlier, Patel told PTI that he feels that IPL and CLT20 are great platforms for the youngsters to prove their mettle.
"Both IPL and CLT20 are great platforms for the youngsters. If you do well here, you immediately get recognised," he said. (Read: Glenn Maxwell Reprimanded)
Patel said playing in formats like IPL and CLT20 helps boost the confidence level of domestic players as well as helping them to improve skills while playing along side top international players.
Bailey also backed his bowlers, Parwinder Awana and Sri Lankan import Thisara Perera, who came in for some heavy stick from the Cobras batsmen early on in the game.
"I was proud with the way our bowlers pulled it back, particularly Awana, his last two overs were outstanding..," he said, adding the bowlers showed the ability "to absorb pressure and bounce back".
Bailey commended the franchise for hunting talented young players who were flourishing now with senior players and the coaching staff out there to nurture talent. (Read: KXIP's Spirit Impresses George Bailey)
Speaking about the bunch of these young talented players in his team, Bailey said the group has got good senior players around them including Virender Sehwag and these rookies are given the confidence to just go out and play their natural game.
He said the coaching staff and senior players of the team "try to drill" into the young talented players that they do their basics very well and "then to have the freedom and lack of fear to play the way they want to play."