IPL 2023, DC vs MI: Axar Patel hit a 25-ball 54 after coming into bat at No. 7 for Delhi Capitals against Mumbai Indians. The in-form all-rounder has been backed to bat higher-up the order for Delhi in the upcoming games.
DC vice-captain Axar Patel has been in fine form with the bat (AP Photo)
By India Today Sports Desk: Delhi Capitals have had a horror start to their IPL 2023 campaign, losing their first four matches. Among other things, Axar Patel’s batting position in the struggling Delhi batting line-up has been a subject of debate as the in-form India all-rounder has not been promoted higher-up the order so far in the season.
Experts and even captain David Warner agreed that Axar Patel should bat higher-up the order in the upcoming games after his stunning fifty for Delhi Capitals in a losing cause against Mumbai Indians on Tuesday, April 11. On a pitch where stroke-making, especially after the powerplay, was not easy, Axar Patel smashed 54 off 25 balls after coming into bat at No. 7. Axar hit 5 sixes and 4 boundaries in a 67-run stand with captain David Warner, who was struggling once again to bat at a good click.
Axar Patel was sent below the likes of Lalit Yadav and Rovman Powell and the all-rounder had only 8 overs to play with when he walked into the middle. However, the Gujarat all-rounder, who was in fine form with the bat for India in the international season, got going from the word go as he made up for Warner’s slow pace and helped Delhi Capitals post a fighting total of 172.
“I was also thinking about that (Batting higher-up the order). But, if you see, I am also getting 10-12 overs to bat, regardless of whether I come into bat at 7 or higher-up the order,” Axar Patel said while a smile on his face.
“It feels the same and that’s why I am saying anything. Even if I come in at No.4… I think 10-12 overs are more than enough for me in T20 cricket. But, on a serious note (laughs), this conversation has taken place.
“But if you look at our batting order, we have good players of spin. If I come in early, then there is a question of who will finish games for us? The captain and coach will also be thinking along these lines. I am finishing well, and we won’t get that too,” he added.
Axar referred to Delhi Capitals’ frailties at the top of the order. While Warner has managed to hit 3 fifties, albiet at a poor strike rate, the rest of the top-order has failed consistently. Young Prithvi Shaw has been struggling to get going while the absence of Mitchell Marsh, who went home for his marriage, has been hurting Delhi’s batting combination.
‘WARNER IS TRYING HARD’
Meanwhile, Axar Patel said David Warner has been trying his best to improve his strike rate and get going and head coach Ricky Ponting and Director of Cricket Sourav Ganguly have also had discussions with the star batter.
Warner conceded that he has been struggling to find rhythm in the new season. The star Australian opener hit 51 off 47 balls in Delhi’s defeat to Mumbai Indians on Tuesday.
“Even in the last couple of games, when he (Warner) has been trying to hit, it’s not been coming off. As a batsman, I don’t know what he is thinking at that moment. When Prithvi is batting, he has to anchor but after that when wickets keep falling in front of him, it’s not good to keep attacking.
“Even when he is trying, it’s not coming off. Everyone spoke to him – Ricky, (Shane) Watson, Dada. The conversation about his strike rate also came up. They looked at his videos and he’s working on it,” he added.