Rahul Dravid’s Big Mistake Put India In A Losing Situation: By stumps on Day 2 in the Indore Test, India stand on the verge of losing this third Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test, which would be their first loss at home since 2017 when also Steve Smith’s side defeated them in Pune. That was the only loss India had suffered since 2013 at home, and now with Australia being set a target of 76 runs, they are about to have their second home loss in a decade.
Former India opener Wasim Jaffer feels that Indian team management should have been flexible in changing their pre-decided batting order by sending Axar Patel to bat ahead of KS Bharat and R Ashwin in their second innings.
Not only Axar would bring the left-right combination at the crease which is a headache for any fielding captain and doesn’t allow a bowler to settle. But, and more importantly, Axar Patel has been in better batting form than both Bharat and Ashwin.
In India’s second innings, where the hosts were bowled out for 163, Axar Patel was left stranded at 15* off 39 balls. Similarly in the first innings, when India were bundled for 109, Axar was unbeaten on 12 runs.
Both the times, Axar should have been promoted ahead of Ashwin at least, if not KS Bharat. But the Rahul Dravid-led management didn’t show any flexibility. Axar Patel has been one of the few batsmen who have got going in this series – he scored 84 in Nagpur and 74 in Delhi while bigger batting names on both teams struggled and scraped for every single run.
Wasim Jaffer’s tweet has gone viral as he point out India’s mistake:
“Indian think tank missed a trick by not sending Axar up the order in both the inns. He’s ran out of partners in both inns. Should have batted at no. 6/7 and not no.9 with the kind of form he’s in. #INDvAUS #BGT2023,” Wasim Jaffer tweeted.
Indian think tank missed a trick by not sending Axar up the order in both the inns. He's ran out of partners in both inns. Should have batted at no. 6/7 and not no.9 with the kind of form he's in. #INDvAUS #BGT2023
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) March 2, 2023
It was Cheteshwar Pujara’s gritty knock of 59 that helped India overcome the trail of 88 runs. Shreyas Iyer counter-attacked with 26 runs from 27 balls. Rest, nobody else could score more than 20.
Barring something extraordinary – such as India’s 36 all-out – Australia could make the scoreline 2-1 in the first session on Day 3.