Last Update on: August 8th, 2023 at 04:28 pm
Former India National Cricket Team opening batsman Aakash Chopra has criticized Hardik Pandya for underutilizing spin-bowling all-rounder Axar Patel in the ongoing five-match T20I series against West Indies National Cricket Team.
The 29-year-old all-rounder wasn’t properly utilized in the second T20I at the Providence Stadium in Guyana on Sunday, August 06. He scored 14 runs while batting at No.7 and when it came to bowling, he wasn’t given a single over by Pandya. Also, in the first game, he was given only 2 overs.
Speaking on Jio Cinema, Chopra said that Hardik Pandya will have to take extra responsibility and stay in the middle till the very end to make sure India post defendable totals. He further slammed the skipper for not using Axar properly, saying that the all-rounder can be utilized in a better way.
“(Skipper) Hardik Pandya will also have a responsibility to make runs himself and stay on the crease till the very end so that you have enough runs on the board which can be defended.
“And while I speak of bowling, I am astonished as Axar (Patel) isn’t being utilised, because if you are playing a left-arm spinner and think you won’t bowl him against a lefty, so you will get (Kyle) Mayers in the beginning, then Nicholas Pooran and then (Shimron) Hetmyer and then Akeal Hossein, so you can’t make him play the match. I feel Axar can be utilized in a better way,” he said on Jio Cinema.
I feel for one more match, I will not change the opening pair – Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra further spoke about the Indian openers Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan who have failed miserably in the ongoing T20Is against West Indies. He said that although Yashasvi Jaiswal, who is warming the bench, is a tempting option, he would like Ishan and Gill to open in at least one more match.
“See, the question is big and is tempting also because if Ishan (Kishan) plays, he plays as the wicketkeeper-batter and is a left-hander. Also, you have Yashasvi who is a left-hander and can open, and you also have Sanju (Samson) as a keeper, who is available for selection.
“There is a thought, but I will still say that if you have given someone a chance to play, you should give them three matches at least so that you can arrive at a decision. I feel for one more match, I will not change the opening pair of Ishan and Shubman Gill.”
Aakash Chopra also urged the openers to capitalize on the powerplay and bat with good intent.
“In the first six overs, it’s important to capitalise. But it is only possible if you have wickets in hand. It’s not like India lose a wicket early on. They are playing the first two overs cautiously,” explained Chopra.
“But if you divide the powerplay into two halves, in the second half of the powerplay you need to accelerate. If you get 10 runs per over, you suddenly find yourself at 50/1. But the current scenario seems different where you lose two wickets for 36-37 runs. So, we are neither here nor there, so we do have problems. Now, that Shubham and Ishan have played two matches they need to show more intent. But they also need to keep in mind which bowler to target,” he added.
The wicketkeeper-batter Kishan has scored 6 and 27 in two games while his opening partner Gill has registered the scores of 3 and 7.