IPL team slammed for sending India spinner-batsman Patel too late in the batting order against Sunrisers
The Delhi Capitals think-tank of Ricky Ponting and Sourav Gangly along with captain David Warner were at the receiving end from fans on social media and critics alike for holding back in-form batter Axar Patel in their narrow nine-run loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad at Kotla on Sunday night.
There is little doubt that they blundered by sending struggling batters Manish Pandey, Priyam Garg and Sarfaraz Khan ahead of Axar. By the time the southpaw came to bat at No. 7 the asking rate had spiraled and there was immense pressure on him. Axar did try his best by collecting a quick, unbeaten 29 from just 14 balls, but a win remained elusive.
Phil Salt (59 for 35 balls) and Mitch Marsh (63 off 39) had set the ball rolling for DC in their challenging chase of 198. However, later, Pandey, Garg and Sarfaraz struggled to get going, giving SRH a chance to come back. And in the end, despite Axar’s effort, the team lost their third of four matches at the so-called Qila Kotla, leaving them at the bottom with four points from eight games and virtually out of the contention for the playoffs.
Delhi captain David Warner, who himself failed to get going, struggled to explain dropping Axar down the order. “Axar is in good touch and good form, but once we got off to a good start, we wanted him to bat at the back end. We knew it would be vital with their spinners spinning into the left-hander. We had two guys [Marsh and Salt] going at that point and holding Axar back at the back end, it can be difficult, but they're the challenges that present us when we're actually in the moment and maybe we can think about that, sending him earlier," said Warner.
Player of the match, Marsh added: "Those quick wickets in the middle session cost us dear. Close games can define your season. Unfortunately, we've been at the wrong end of a few."