India lost second consecutive match in the ongoing T20I series against South Africa on Sunday. Having lost the first game, the Men in Blue were looking to give a solid reply to the visitors but things did not turn out as planned.
After being asked to bat first, the home team didn’t get off to a great start. Ishan Kishan’s solid start and a resolute 30* from Dinesh Karthik were the only positives, as far as the batting was concerned.
The Indian batters dissapointed, once again, with their performance. Rishabh Pant lofted a wide ball only to be caught at deep extra cover. Ruturaj Gaikwad doing the same to a point fielder and Hardik Pandya getting bowled off Parnell.
One instance, however, that left fans head-scratching was an unexpected change in the batting position. The moment came when Pandya got cleaned up in the 13th over off a Wayne Parnell’s ball. At this point, fans were expecting Dinesh Karthik to come next.
However, contrary to everyone’s expectations, it was Axar Patel, who walked in ahead of Karthik. Soon Twitter was abuzz with people calling out the decision and posing questions to the team management and captain. The wicket-keeper made 30* off of 21 which enraged the fans further and countless more tweets started flowing-in.
Here’s a look at some of the reactions:
Axar Patel walks into bar before Dinesh Karthik in batting line up? Just because you are classified as a finisher doesn’t mean you have to come in with only a certain balls or overs to go.#INDvSA #Cricket #CrickeDigest pic.twitter.com/JqHGazAm3b
— The Cricket Digest (@thecricketdig) June 13, 2022
Genuinely interested in the thought process behind sending axar Patel ahead of Karthik and harshal. especially the former when he was marvellous in ipl.#INDvsSA
— Manisha Karan (@ManishaKaran1) June 13, 2022
Why did Axar Patel bat before Dinesh Karthik . Well Karthik played well .#INDvsSA
— bob the drop (@Sijaankhan78692) June 12, 2022
— Brinal (@iambrinal) June 13, 2022
— UploadingNoLedge (@PollKholBol) June 12, 2022
— Vishal Deshmukh (@kaafiAverage) June 12, 2022
Axar Patel ahead of Dinesh Karthik? Like seriously??? 😡
— Prashant Kumar (@scribe_prashant) June 12, 2022
— Nepal Maity (@nepalmaity) June 12, 2022
Definitely @RishabhPant17 is not the one to be leading the side or even be in the T20 team, sending #Axar up before main finisher @DineshKarthik was the absolute disaster one can do, someone needs to remind him that this is not DC but @BCCI country's team #RishabhPant #INDvSA
— Tejas Mangi (@imTMangi) June 12, 2022
Why Dinesh Karthik was sent after Axar Patel?#AskStar
— Deepak (@Deepak575443545) June 12, 2022
Shreyas Iyer later came out in defence of the decision and said, “See, it is definitely something we strategised earlier on as well. We had seven overs left, Axar Patel is someone who can take singles, who can keep rotating the strike and we did not require someone to come in and straight away start hitting from ball one at that point of time.”
India now play their third game of the T20I series on June 14th in Vishakhapatnam. If South Africa win the next match, the T20I series will be theirs.