Former opener Aakash Chopra questions Team India’s decision to promote Axar Patel to the number 4 batting position in the second ODI against West Indies. Resting senior players Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, India aimed to test their bench strength before the ODI World Cup. However, Chopra was critical of the move to send Axar Patel to bat at number 4, as he believes Axar is unlikely to play in that position in the upcoming Asia Cup and ODI World Cup.
“Axar Patel was sent at No. 4 here – how, why, when, where? I have a lot of respect and admiration for Axar, but Axar is never going to play at No. 4. What are his chances of playing for India at No. 4 in the World Cup or the Asia Cup? I don’t see him playing there in 50-over cricket,” Akaash Chopra expressed on his YouTube channel.
He further questioned the left-right combination strategy, suggesting that if India is determined to implement it, they should consider making changes to the top 3, where Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Virat Kohli bat.
“I have another question – is it tenable? Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill will open, and Virat Kohli will play at No. 3, and all three are right-handers. If you want a left-right combination so much, will you play a left-hander by sending one of them down the order? That’s not going to happen – so what was Axar Patel doing at No. 4?” Aakash Chopra added.
In the rain-affected second ODI, India struggled to a total of 181 all-out in 40.5 overs. In response, West Indies successfully navigated a challenging spell from Shardul Thakur, with captain Shai Hope (63 not out) and young Keacy Carty (48 not out) forming an unbroken 91-run partnership for the fifth wicket, leading the hosts to a six-wicket victory in 36.4 overs.