Former England off-spinner Graeme Swann feels that Axar Patel hasn’t done much of late in the Indian team and might be the weak link that New Zealand might target in tonight’s second T20I between the two sides.
Axar was part of the T20 World Cup squad as well but didn’t get to play a game. He is mostly considered as a backup option for Ravindra Jadeja in the T20I squad but hasn’t done anything of note yet.
“He might be the weak link. He’s not really done that much recently. He is still an 8 out of 10. He didn’t have the greatest of IPL without doing anything wrong. He didn’t set the world alight. [But] brilliant cricketer,” Swann said to Cricket.com.
“Maybe this is begrudging because he destroyed England” – Graeme Swann
Graeme Swann went on to point out that Axar Patel’s dismantling of England back in the 4-match home Test series might have a say in his decision, but that doesn’t change the fact that Axar did have a pretty sub-par IPL 2021 season. The left-arm spinner played in the first T20I against New Zealand, where he ended with figures of 0/31 in four overs.
“And maybe me saying this is begrudging because he just destroyed (England). I mean, England were supposed to win that Test series in India after the Test in Chennai, but thanks to Axar Patel, England came third in a two-way race,” Swann added.
The second T20I between India and New Zealand takes place on Friday at the JSCA International Cricket Stadium in Ranchi. The stadium is expected to have a capacity crowd after the state government approved the full allotment of seats.