Pressure has further mounted on the Indian cricket team, which slumped to their third defeat in four matches. After getting knocked out of the Asia Cup in the Super 4, Team India suffered a four-wicket defeat to Australia in the T20I series opener in Mohali on Tuesday. The defeat is all the more demoralising given Australia are without three of their premier T20 stars, coupled by the fact that they chased down a stiff target of 209, further highlighting the cracks in India's death overs bowling.
Some of the decisions taken by the Indian team management has raised a few concerns. After captain Rohit Sharma preferred Dinesh Karthik over Rishabh Pant, the call to send Axar Patel ahead of DK came as a surprise. Karthik has been shaped to play the role of a finisher for India, which is why the decision to hold him back was a jolt out of the blue for many, including the legendary Sunil Gavaskar. The former India captain has questioned India's tactics of preserving Karthik for a late flourish and not sending him earlier. He feels irrespective of what the situation is, Karthik needs to spend more time.
"If you think that he (Karthik) is a better batsman than Axar Patel, then he should come into bat even if it is the 12th or 13th over. All this thing about coming in only for the last 3-4 overs is not the kind of thing that should be looked at. We should not be going by theory," he said on Sports Today.
Axar was sent in the 14th over of India's innings when Suryakumar Yadav got out. Patel got dismissed soon after for just six runs while Karthik could only manage six off five balls. Gavaskar cited the example of the England cricket team, which is playing an aggressive brand of cricket under Brendon McCullum and not sticking to a particular theory.
"If you see how English cricket has changed by not going by theory, they are now playing very free cricket. They are not going by theory that this could happen only if this happens. Look at the difference in their cricket and the difference in their results. India needs to make sure that they don't fall into the trap of theories. They have got to look at the practicality of the situation at hand and take decisions accordingly," mentioned Gavaskar.