Axar Patel, Pragyan Ojha
Axar Patel (Image Credits: Twitter)

Last Update on: August 2nd, 2023 at 03:47 pm

Former Indian spinner Pragyan Ojha stated that it is unfair to say that all-rounder Axar Patel was underutilized by the team management. Pragyan Ojha said that Axar Patel could be a vital player for India in the upcoming ODI World Cup, considering the conditions favor spinners.

Axar Patel was recalled to the playing XI for the second ODI against the West Indies after missing the series opener. The left-handed batter came to bat at No.4 in the batting order but managed to score only one run. The left-arm spinner bowled just two overs and went wicketless.

A Bit Too Early To Say – Pragyan Ojha

Speaking ahead of the third ODI against the West Indies, Pragyan Ojha said that Axar Patel could have been brought into the bowling attack a little earlier in the second match.

“(It is) A bit too early to say that (Axar isn’t given consistent chances). Yes, he could’ve been used a little earlier (in 2nd ODI). He could’ve been given a run bit more earlier. But saying that he hasn’t been utilized properly would be unfair, because one-off games are fine,” Pragyan Ojha said while responding to a query by Hindustan Times during an interaction organized by Jio Cinema.

“We have to see what happens in next 3-4 games. If you have to look at the setup for the World Cup, he is a very important member, because we are playing in India. And in India, at some point, it will assist the spinners,” he added.

He’s Matured As A Batsman – Pragyan Ojha

The former left-arm spinner emphasized that Axar Patel is a valuable asset for the team as an all-rounder, noting his development as a batter.

“You’d rather want someone like Axar who can bat and ball. We’ve seen what he’s done in IPL and domestic cricket. He’s matured as a batsman, and he’s bowling well.”

“He’s a crucial member, one-odd game wouldn’t make a difference and us being critical about not giving him a chance in one-odd game would be very critical.”

However, Axar Patel was dropped from the final match and replaced by Ruturaj Gaikwad. The Rohit Sharma-led team will play their next ODI match in the Asia Cup 2023, which is scheduled to begin on August 30.