EXPLAINED: Why Axar Patel Was Sent Ahead Of Dinesh Karthik vs Australia In Mohali

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EXPLAINED: Why Axar Patel Was Sent Ahead Of Dinesh Karthik vs Australia In Mohali

ind vs aus Dinesh Karthik Axar Patel

Many eyebrows were raised when India sent Axar Patel ahead of Dinesh Karthik in the first T20I in Mohali. 

India started off the home series against Australia with a bang as the batters walloped the visiting bowling attack for 208 runs in the first T20I on Tuesday in Mohali.

After KL Rahul’s 55 and Suryakumar Yadav’s 46, India’s innings was given a late boost by Hardik Pandya’s blistering knock of 71 runs off only 30 balls, propelling the team total to over 200.

Amid this, there was an interesting decision made by the Indian management - of sending Axar Patel at number 6 ahead of Dinesh Karthik, who came in to bat at number 7.

So, why was Axar Patel promoted over Dinesh Karthik?

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The main reason for Dinesh Karthik batting behind Axar Patel was that Karthik is best suited to playing only in the death overs, while at the same time India also needed to break the chain of right-handers so they sent in Axar Patel.

We have been seeing this right from the IPL 2022 that Dinesh Karthik has made a name for himself as a death-over specialist; a specialised finisher - the role in which he’s made a comeback into the Indian team.

During the IPL 2022, for RCB, Dinesh Karthik smashed at a strike rate of 220 in the death overs. Upon his return to the Indian team, Karthik has played a few crucial knocks in the death overs, against the likes of South Africa and West Indies, to make it into the T20 World Cup squad.

This has happened in a few matches previously as well - in the Cuttack T20I vs South Africa in June, Axar was sent above Karthik; against Pakistan in the Asia Cup, Ravindra Jadeja had too batted over Karthik. So, the management clearly thinks that Karthik’s best entry point is around the death overs, which is around the 16th over.

In Mohali, India lost their 4th wicket, Suryakumar Yadav, in the 14th over, and hence Dinesh Karthik was held back and Axar Patel was sent - and that wasn’t too surprising given now we have understood how the management feels regarding the entry point of Dinesh Karthik.

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The move didn't work today, but should be tested in a long run

Patel got out for 6 runs on 15.5 overs and so presented Karthik with his favourable entry point. However, DK couldn’t do much today and departed for only 6 runs.