IND vs SA 2022: "Hasn't been able to bowl economically" - Wasim Jaffer asks India to drop Axar Patel for 3rd T20I, names replacement

Wasim Jaffer (L) and Axar Patel. (PC: BCCI).
Wasim Jaffer (L) and Axar Patel. (PC: BCCI).
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Rudransh Khurana

Wasim Jaffer has advised India to drop left-arm spinner Axar Patel for leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi for their third, must-win T20I against South Africa on Tuesday (June 14).

India are 2-0 behind in the five-match rubber. Patel conceded 40 runs for one wicket in the first T20I, though his economy rate was the second-lowest among Indian bowlers in the high-scoring game.

He wasn't given the ball until the 12th over in the second match and went for 19 runs in that without taking a wicket.

Previewing the third match for ESPNcricinfo, Jaffer also talked about leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal's dip in form from IPL 2022 to this series and the importance of building pressure and taking wickets in the middle overs.

He argued that Bishnoi can do the job better than Patel in that regard. Jaffer said:

"Yuzvendra Chahal, how well he bowled in the IPL, won the purple cap too - we haven't seen that form in these two matches. The spinners' role in T20 cricket is very important. If you (as a team) don't put pressure and get wickets in the middle-overs, you end up conceding 70-80 runs in the last five overs and that's what we've been seeing here.
"Axar Patel hasn't been able to bowl economically and is being attacked so I'll personally want them to try Ravi Bishnoi because a leg-spinner will give you better options."

Although Bihsnoi presents a better attacking option, the 21-year-old hasn't been in his best form of late. In IPL 2022 he picked up 13 wickets, less than half of Chahal's tally, at an average and economy rate of 35.08 and 8.44 respectively.

Jaffer also expressed hope for better bowling performances from Chahal and all-rounder Hardik Pandya, saying:

"I'll want Yuzvendra Chahal to perform better as well. The performance we saw from Hardik Pandya in the IPL final, we haven't seen it here either. He bowled just one over in the first match and was a bit expensive [in the second].
"The brilliant new-ball bowling by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh, and even Harshal Patel isn't being backed up by the spinners and the ... fourth seamer. That's where I think there's a dire need for improvement."

On India's batting, Jaffer said the hosts need more contributions from the top order to consistently put up above-par targets and offset the toss disadvantage.

He even remarked that India's 211-run first-innings score in the first match, which South Africa chased in the final over, was "short by 10-15 runs".

"Even if India loses the toss, they'll have to make an above-par score. The next match is in Vishakhapatnam which I feel will offer a better pitch. So whatever the par score, India will have to score a bit more than that.
"The top-4 batters will have to play the first 13-14 overs and that too a bit aggressively because if you lose too many wickets in the powerplay or in the middle-overs, the lower-order is put under pressure.
"That's what we've been seeing. Even though India batted well in the first T20I, in hindsight it seems like they fell short by 10-15 runs there as well because it was a short ground."
Yuzi Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar in action at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground. #INDvSA #TeamIndia

Venkatesh Iyer and Deepak Hooda are the only two batting replacements available on the bench for India. However, considering the positions they bat in are occupied by more experienced players, they still might have to wait a bit more to get a chance in the playing XI.

A third loss (which will also be a series defeat) would likely bring them into the picture.

Wasim Jaffer praises South Africa

Jaffer concluded the video by praising the visitors, who have taken a decisive lead in the series despite missing senior pros like Aiden Markram in the first match and Quinton de Kock in the second.

He said:

"There is a question mark on Quinton de Kock's fitness but if he's fit I think he will surely return but I don't know where they'll fit Aiden Markram.
"But this team is playing such good cricket even without the two key players that questions like 'Who'll go out for whom?' and 'What will be team combination?' will be a major headache for Mark Boucher and Tamba Bavuma."

The third T20I will commence at 7:00 pm IST on June 14. You can catch the live proceedings here.

Edited by Arjun Panchadar
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