Why Axar Came Ahead Of Virat In 2nd Innings: During the second Test match of the India tour of Bangladesh 2022, an interesting incident happened when Axar Patel walked down at the No. 4 spot instead of Virat Koli.
Why Axar Came Ahead Of Virat In 2nd Innings
Post winning the first Test match against Bangladesh, India plans to win the second test of the series in order to increase the WTC23 final chance. India were in a scenario where they need to win 4 out of their next 6 Test matches to secure the WTC23 final spot.
Winning the toss, Bangladesh opted to bat first where Ashwin and Umesh bagged 4 wickets each and restricted Bangladesh to score the expected runs. With Mominul’s impressive 84 runs, Bangladesh scored 227 runs in the first inning.
On the other hand, India with Pant and Iyer’s partnership crossed 300 runs mark and scored 314 runs in their first inning. In the second inning hosts scored 231 runs and made a 145 runs target for India.
Though the target seems to be reachable, Bangladesh spinners made it tough by dismissing India’s top-order batters for single-digit runs. In that situation, instead of Virat Kohli, Axar Patel walked down at the no. 4 position and scored 34 runs which is the second-highest score of team India after Ashwin’s match-winning 42 runs.
Seeing Axar walk in to bat at no. 4, Gavaskar and Jadeja were left baffled, suggesting such a move would not go down well with Virat Kohli who is arguably the best batter in the world.
“It didn’t send a good message to Kohli. He is the best batsman in the world. Unless Kohli himself asked for it, then it’s a different matter. We don’t know what happened in the changing room. But it’s hard to understand. Axar has played well, of course,” he said as a commentator on Sony Sports Network.
Jadeja, who was a part of the Hindi commentary team for the series, echoed Gavaskar’s sentiments saying, “He is the world’s best player. 15 overs were left. Saba Karim said it could have been because of the left-right combination, which is an obvious thought, but then I feel – did Rishabh Pant take a sleeping pill? I will also say that it is easy for us to say this from here; we don’t know if someone was not feeling well.”
When Jadeja asked Pujara, in a chat for the broadcaster, the India batter gave a straightforward response, calling the move a good one.
“It was a very good move because, among their three strike bowlers, two were left-arm spinners. Axar is a left-hander, so he was sent to tackle them and to have a batter who can bat sensibly in the initial period against the Kookaburra ball.
It was a crucial move for us. That was an important phase of the game where we didn’t want to lose too many wickets in the evening, and he could have batted cautiously. So I was not surprised.
When you are chasing a 145-run total, every run is important, and the way he batted, his innings was very valuable for us,” he said.
Pujara on India sending Axar ahead of Kohli pic.twitter.com/xAFrbNirf3
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India ended 2022 with a series victory and they will play their next match against Sri Lanka on January 3, 2023 at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. Sri Lanka will tour to India to play 23 T20Is and as many as ODIs between January 3-15.