"Imagine if this player had been in MS Dhoni's team" - Aakash Chopra questions Axar Patel's underutilization by the Delhi Capitals
Aakash Chopra has picked Axar Patel as one of the most underutilized players in the recently concluded edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2023).
Axar picked up 11 wickets at an impressive economy rate of 7.19 in the 14 matches he played for the Delhi Capitals in IPL 2023. With 283 runs to his name, he was the franchise's second-highest run-scorer despite getting to bat too low in the order.
On the 'AakashVani' show on JioCinema, Chopra picked some of the players who were not used effectively by their franchises. Regarding Axar, he said:
"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."
The former Indian opener lambasted the Delhi Capitals for failing to extract the best from the spin-bowling all-rounder despite possessing a huge think-tank, elaborating:
"You 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 highlighted that Shane Watson even acknowledged that Axar should be sent up the order but the former Australian all-rounder also pointed out that it was not his call. He added that Axar himself expressed his desire to bat up the order but he too mentioned that it was not his decision.
"The second player who comes to my mind is Arshdeep Singh" - Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra also questioned the Punjab Kings' utilization of Arshdeep Singh, saying:
"The second player who comes to my mind is Arshdeep Singh. He is a player who has played a World Cup. When the Mumbai match happened, where he picked up four wickets in the end, he was No. 1 in the Purple Cap list, which means for half the season he was right up there. So no one can say he wasn't bowling well."
The reputed commentator pointed out that the left-arm seamer was not used properly both in the powerplay and at the death:
"After that, you didn't get him to bowl with the new ball at all. If you gave the 5th or 6th over to Arshdeep Singh, it means you halved his stature. Then he had overs left at the death, but you were getting Harpreet Brar to bowl. He could have potentially taken you to the playoffs but you didn't utilize him at all."
Arshdeep picked up 17 wickets in 14 matches but conceded an average of 9.69 runs per over. He accounted for only four dismissals in seven games after his four-wicket haul against the Mumbai Indians.