Amidst accusations that his team has been wasting the batting form on display by spin allrounder Axar Patel in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League, skipper David Warner says Delhi Capitals are open to reconsidering the player’s late entry into the proceedings.
Known for his disciplined and incisive left-arm spin, Axar has been an end-overs aggressor on the rise. The left-hander had shown encouraging signs to this front in the past two editions of the premier T20 league, too, but has really taken his game two notches higher in IPL 2023. His strike-rate for the tournament stands at an eye-catching 142.56.
Axar enjoys a mid-season tally of 211 runs after eight innings while retaining his impressive scoring rate with an average of 35.16. In his latest knock, the 29-year-old came out firing in the end-overs for the Capitals and smashed an unbeaten 29 not out off 14 balls, nearly taking the side through to a win in their hefty chase of the imposing 198-run target.
DC’s loss by nine runs, however, has retriggered debates on Axar’s spot in the batting line-up, with many on the outside feeling that the think-tank is not maximising the form and the improvement on display by the team’s premier allrounder, and should promote him up.
Warner admitted that it was a fair idea, but also explained why the Indian cricketer hasn’t been promoted up the order so far, stating that a more even spread of left-handers, himself included, gives DC more options and the flexibility to take down multiple match-ups while also allowing the player to continue in his explosive avatar in the death-overs phase.
“He’s in good touch, but for us, we got off to a good start. With him in the back end, we knew it was going to be vital with spinners spinning into left handers. We only had myself and Axar (among left-handed batters),”the Australian was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
“Holding Axar for the back-end, it can be difficult, but there are challenges that present us when we are in that moment. Maybe we could think about sending him a bit earlier,”he added.
Either way, DC must find a way to give Axar a greater chance to make an impact on the proceedings, especially as they now stand on the verge of an early exit in the playoffs race. With their defeat to Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi retained their bottom spot in the ten-team standings after just two wins and six losses.