Sunil Gavaskar bashes DC management for the ‘stubborn’, almost defiant refusal to promote Axar Patel up the batting order’

Delhi Capitals had a nightmarish IPL 2023. In 14 league games, they were only able to win five games, finishing ninth in the 10-team points table.

At home, they would only win two of their seven games. The 2020 runner ups featured without their captain Rishabh Pant, who was ruled out of the season owing to the injuries he sustained in a road accident last year.

David Warner would replace the keeper batter as the skipper while the likes of Ricky Ponting, Sourav Ganguly and Shane Watson were part of the backroom staff.

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar believes the reason for Delhi not being able to pose a successful challenge was owing to their ‘stubborn, almost defiant’ decision to hold back in-form Axar Patel in the batting order.

“What might have looked like an easy-to-rectify problem during their playing days is not conveyed in the same facile way they solved it themselves. Often, the language is a barrier for a young, budding Indian player who comes from the interiors and may not be conversant in English to understand. That probably explains why players like Yash Dhull, Priyam Garg, and Sarfaraz Khan, to name just three, have made little or no progress. Prithvi Shaw has also not been able to come to terms with the delivery around the ribcage, and the result has been a shortage of runs from some of the most promising and prolific young players in the country,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for Sportstar.

“Then there was the stubborn, almost defiant refusal to promote the in-form Axar Patel up the batting order. It prompted Ravi Shastri, who had coached the Indian team until last year and seen the batting ability that Axar has, to question if there was something in the contract that said Patel wouldn’t bat above number 7 in the batting order,” he added.

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