Aakash Chopra Criticizes Delhi Capitals For Not Using Axar Patel

The 16th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has ended with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) winning their 5th title. They defeated the last-time champions Gujarat Titans (GT) in the final by 5 wickets with R Jadeja gets the team over the line on the last ball. But if we talk about Delhi Capitals (DC), they had a horrifying IPL this season. And Aakash Chopra criticized DC’s management for not utilizing Axar Patel well during the season. He said Axar Patel could have batted up the order considering his form in the last year or so.

Horrified IPL 2023 for Delhi Capitals

DC had a very poor outing in the IPL 2023. They lost their first 5 games in the season. Dc’s first win came in their 6th game against KKR, when they chased down a target of 128 at home.

DC finished 2nd last in the points table

Delhi Capitals was one of those first teams who got knocked out of IPL 2023 so early. They finished 2nd last in the points table, just above SRH with 5 wins in 14 games.

One of the main reasons for DC’s failure this season is their batting. No batter performed consistently with the bat other than David Warner. The skipper David Warner also struggled with the flow while batting and his strike rate wasn’t up to his standard.

Aakash Chopra on utilizing Axar Patel

As we saw DC’s fragile batting in IPL 2023, Aakash Chopra questioned DC’s management regarding Axar Patel. Considering the form of Axar Patel in the last year or so, he could have been given more chances with the bat during the IPL 2023.

In his show ‘AakashVani’ on Jio Cinema, He named some players who were not utilized to their potential in the IPL 2023, and Axar’s name was at the top of the list. He also said Axar Patel could have been used better if he plays under MS Dhoni. As we saw in the tournament, how well Dhoni used A Rahane and Shivam Dube and get the best out of them.

“The first player who comes to my mind, although he still performed well, his name used to be there in the most valuable players’ list. Imagine if this player had been in MS Dhoni’s team, he might have been this tournament’s best player, his name is Axar Patel. He was not getting to bat,” Aakash Chopra said on the ‘AakashVani’ show on JioCinema.

Chopra on DC’s management

Aakash Chopra also questioned DC’s management and wondered who takes those decisions.

“Wonder who was taking the decisions. You have David Warner as the captain of your team, and outside you had Ricky Ponting, Sourav Ganguly, Shane Watson, James Hopes, Ajit Agarkar, and Pravin Amre. You couldn’t figure out how to get the best out of this player despite having such a large think-tank,” Chopra added. 

Chopra after DC vs SRH league stage game

The commentator also questioned DC for not using Axar Patel effectively after a loss against SRH in a league stage. SRH set a target of 198 and Axar Patel was sent in to bat after M Pandey, Priyam Garg, and Sarfaraz Khan. The all-rounder ended up smashing 29 off just 14 balls but couldn’t get the team over the line. DC lost that game by 9 runs.

This is one of those examples of underutilizing Axar Patel. There are a few more instances where he could have batted up the order.

Axar Patel’s improvement with the bat

Axar Patel has been phenomenal with the bat in the last couple of years. He was the best batter during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at home on those turning wickets. He also won a few important games for India with the bat including the one in West Indies ODIs.

In the IPL 2023, despite batting lower down the order, he scored 283 runs and was one of the highest run scorers for DC. With the ball, he took 11 wickets in this season.

Conclusion

DC will look to rectify next year. Their best IPL came in 2020 when they reached the final. They lost to MI in the final and their dream of winning the first IPL title remains.

DC will also look to get the best use of Axar Patel and have a look at their batting next year. Axar is also a part of the leadership group in Delhi Capitals (DC).

Right now, he is with Team India which is in England to play the ICC World Test Championship Final 2023. He is not a part of playing eleven as Ravindra Jadeja is there.

But what do you think of Aakash Chopra’s statement? Would Axar have tp bat up the order? Or batting lower down the order is good for him? Comment your opinion below.

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