Axar Patel in action against WI.© AFP
The Indian team successfully completed their experimentation process in the West Indies ODI series, as a XI devoid of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, defeated the Shai Hope-led side by 200 runs to complete a 2-1 series win. However, the team received much criticism after their loss in the second ODI, where Kohli and Rohit were rested too. Several experts felt it was unnecessary with the ODI World Cup starting in October. There were also question marks being raised on the batting order with Axar Patel coming ahead of established batters like Suryakumar Yadav in the matches.
India star spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had defended the decision. “Some of them asked why Axar Patel batted at No. 4. Where else will he bat? Shreyas Iyer will walk into the No. 4 spot when fit. We need a left-hander since Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill will be opening the batting. If we play on slightly spinning wickets and if Axar bats a No. 4, we can extend our batting and play an extra bowler like Shardul. We don’t know what the team management is thinking. Therefore, we can’t criticise them, saying their thought process is wrong,” Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.
The ICC World Cup 2023 will be held in India across October and November and Ashwin appealed to fans to support the team, and stay away from negativity.
“Winning a world cup is not easy…just because we play a certain player or drop a certain player, we can’t win. All of us are hindsight kings. Hindsight doesn’t work here. We have qualified for the semifinals of almost all major tournaments but on that day, we have not been good enough. Let us send them (to the WC) with a lot of positivity,” Ashwin said.
While talking about the Ashes series which saw England bouncing back from 0-2 to level the series 2-2, Ashwin said Australia might have been hindered by the injury-enforced absence of veteran spinner Nathan Lyon.
With PTI inputs
Topics mentioned in this article