Ajit Agarkar feels that Ajinkya Rahane’s style of batting does, unfortunately, not suit the needs of the Delhi Capitals side and thus batted for the re-inclusion of young Prithvi Shaw up top. Agarkar further hoped for Delhi to trust Axar more after the left-arm-spinner bowled just one over vs KKR.
While Shikhar Dhawan has been notching up centuries and half-centuries for fun, his partners have, however, only largely managed to put up binary scores. After Prithvi Shaw posted a string of single-digit scores mid-season - 4, 0,0 and 7 - the Capitals resorted to replacing him with veteran Ajinkya Rahane up top but that move turned out to be a disaster, too, as the former RR skipper ended up scoring a golden duck versus KKR. This has left Delhi in a precarious position, with them not knowing who their openers are, heading into the fag end of the season.
Despite Delhi leaning towards the experience of Rahane, former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar feels that the Capitals should put their faith in young Shaw. Agarkar feels that Rahane’s style of batting does not suit DC, and hence batted for the re-inclusion of Shaw.
“You’ve got to feel for Rahane a little bit. Changed franchises but hasn’t really had a go. But he doesn’t really fit into the Delhi XI, unfortunately, with the kind of game he has. It’s one of those things where there’s not enough opportunities for Rahane but clearly, between the two, at that position, and with the way Shikhar Dhawan is going, Prithvi has to come back,” Agarkar said in ESPN Cricinfo’s T20 Time Out.
Former Sunrisers Hyderabad head coach Tom Moody also echoed Agarkar’s sentiments and championed Shaw, who he believes injects positivity into the Delhi side.
“Absolutely, Prithvi Shaw should replace Ajinkya Rahane. He is a dangerous player - yes at times he can frustrate fans and followers with his dismissals - but he’s got a very high strike rate, historically he gets out of the blocks quickly and I think that is very much needed for Delhi Capitals,” Moody said.
Delhi took several questionable decisions in the KKR clash, one of which was to give just one over to Axar Patel. Despite having conceded just 7 runs off his first over, Shreyas Iyer did not throw the ball to Axar due to the presence of two left-handers, and the move backfired as KKR steamrolled their way to 194. Agarkar expressed his bafflement over Delhi’s thought process and hoped for Iyer to trust Axar more with the ball, even if it’s against left-handers.
“It was bizarre, really bizarre. Not bowling Axar when the team is getting carted all over the park for 190 runs. He has been one of Delhi’s main bowlers this season, perhaps their third best bowler after Rabada and Nortje. If you’re a good bowler, you’re a good bowler. By that logic, off-spinners shouldn’t ever bowl to right-handers. So when you’re getting carted all overs, not to bowl one of the best bowlers was a pretty strange decision.”
Delhi’s opponents on Tuesday, Sunrisers Hyderabad, have decisions of their own to make, one of which is to decide whether to include all-rounder Mohammad Nabi in the XI at the expense of Jason Holder, with the pitches slowing down. Moody opined that the call between Holder and Nabi should be purely tactical and noted that the Afghan veteran could pose troubles to the in-form Dhawan.
“It’s a tricky one (choosing between Holder and Nabi). Jason Holder has come in and done pretty well, he has taken 5 wickets in 2 games, I think the decision should be purely based on the opposition and the surface they’re playing on. I think they may even lean towards Mohammad Nabi playing because Dhawan’s had his problems against off-spin and Nabi, as we know, is a very, very crafty off-spinner.”