Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra has questioned Hardik Pandya for virtually not using spinner Axar Patel with the ball in the fifth T20I between India and the West Indies. Team India set the Windies a 166-run target in the series decider in Lauderhill, Florida, on Sunday, August 13 and Brandon King and Nicholas Pooran added a 107-run second-wicket partnership to take the team home.
While reviewing the game in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra stated: “When you came to bowl here, absolutely new story. Axar Patel was bowling the first over in the last match and in this match, Axar Patel bowled one over in total. The way Axar Patel has been used, we really don’t know.”
The former Indian opener further added: “You are saying that you will get Kuldeep Yadav to bowl if Nicholas Pooran comes, or else you will get Axar to complete his overs. What will you do if Nicholas Pooran comes up the order? He came up the order when Arshdeep Singh dismissed Kyle Mayers once again. Axar Patel is not being used at all. It almost seems like we played with 10 players.”
However, Axar Patel was only introduced into the attack in the 15th over of the West Indies innings after Tilak Varma dismissed Nicholas Pooran in the previous over. However, Aakash Chopra also questioned Hardik Pandya for not using Mukesh Kumar with the new ball as well.
“Hardik Pandya was bowling with the new ball, which he was not doing otherwise, and he got hit this time. You didn’t bowl Mukesh Kumar a single over with the new ball in the entire series although he picked up wickets in the one ODI you bowled him with the new ball. You have made him (Mukesh) a totally old-ball bowler. Arshdeep Singh was bowled two overs in which he picked up a wicket but he didn’t get overs after that. I have got no idea whatsoever about the bowling changes and I won’t even try to explain,” Aakash Chopra concluded.