By Bipin Dani
Team India's new spin sensation Axar Patel's married sister Shivani Patel, now living in Canada, had no interest in cricket. Leave aside watching the game on TV but she never used to discuss the game with her brother.
The time has changed now. Since her brother made debut for India in the recently concluded Test series against England, she would hardly miss to follow her brother's performance on the field.
"I was speechless and absolutely stunned when he was holding the winning trophy with both his hands and other team members around him", the sister, three years elder to Axar, speaking exclusively over the telephone from her Toronto home, said on Sunday morning (India time).
Team India captain Virat Kohli gave the honour of lifting the trophy to India's newest player. The trend started by MS Dhoni, who not only allowed the best performer to lead the side on return to the pavilion but offered the best seat in the bus and the flight.
"It was indeed a very precious moment in my life and will never ever forget it. It was very grateful to have such practice by the captain. It unites the team members well and junior players are never felt aloof in the side".
"With India's other spinner (R. Ashwin), I saw my brother grabbing wickets one after the other. It was amazing...".
"I was also happy when my brother played his maiden Test and also got the Player of the Match award only when he was playing his just second Test match".
"Wow-27 wickets in three Tests...Can't believe it".
"Back home in Nadiad (Gujarat) my parents (Preeti ben and Rajesh bhai) are happy to see Axar's performance and glad for his progress. I am proud of my brother and lucky to have a nice brother like him", she signed off, adding that Axar only named her 1-year-old son as Aansh.
In Gujarati community, the name of the new arrival is given by the aunty (father's sister).