New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) Veteran India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Friday defended the move to promote Axar Patel ahead of Suryakumar Yadav in the sides 21-run loss in the third ODI match against Australia, saying that the strategy would have worked if Axar had negated spin duo of Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar.
Chasing 270, Axar was promoted to number five while Suryakumar was kept at number seven. The move didn’t work as Axar was run out by a brilliant throw from Steve Smith while Suryakumar was clean bowled by Agar for a golden duck for the third time in the series.
“Why did they promote Axar? If they promoted Axar and he negated Zampa and Agar by taking them for 35 or 50 runs in 10 overs then the game was in India’s bag. So the intent was right but the run-out happened. The outcome wasn’t right,” Ashwin said in a video on his YouTube channel.
Ashwin further pointed towards how some strategic calls made by Australia could have been talked about if they had lost the Chennai ODI.
“Surya came down the order, Axar was promoted and KL Rahul batted at No.4, that was the talking point of the game. Please look at Australia’s batting order consistently. When Maxwell returns that’s how they will use him as well. Because they are players who can create impact,” he said.
“Suryakumar Yadav is also one such player. He plays spin really well. Australia won that’s why it didn’t become a talking point but Marnus Labuschagne who bats at No.4 had to bat at No.5 because of David Warner. If they had lost the game, these questions would have been asked. It’s decided based on the situation of the game, it’s a hunch call,” he added.
Ashwin also slammed the harsh criticism India face whenever they don’t win matches, pointing out that it’s impossible for a team to win games all the time.
“There is almost a compulsion that India should always win. There is an opinion that India is the strongest team. We are a strong team, no doubt about that but somewhere down the line, we assume ourselves to be an invincible cricketing nation. So the feedback coming from the public sometimes can be harsh. Even experts are very harsh with their criticisms these days,” the spinner.