“I see him playing a bigger role in the World Cup”

Former India batter Wasim Jaffer wants the Men in Blue to pick all-rounder Axar Patel in the playing XI for the second ODI against West Indies in Barbados on Saturday. Jaffer reckons that Axar must get decent game time ahead of the World Cup for he is likely to have a big role in the ICC event to be held in India.

Team India went in with Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja as their two slow bowlers in the opening ODI in Barbados. Both came up with excellent performances registering figures of 4/6 and 3/37. respectively.

Previewing the second India-West Indies ODI, Jaffer opined that Axar could come into the playing XI, replacing one of the pacers.

He told ESPNcricinfo:

“Getting in Axar [on the change in the playing XI]. You saw the ball spin, so probably he coming in and playing his role as a spinner. He also adds another quality batter in that line-up. There’s not much for the seamers even though it’s a bit two-paced, a little bit up and down.

“If we can get Axar in… In this context, we probably won’t need Axar, but in the larger picture, I see him playing a bigger role in the World Cup and in ODI cricket. Getting Axar in for another fast bowler would be a good thing,” the 45-year-old added.

Axar has so far featured in 51 ODIs and has claimed 58 wickets at an average of 31.41.

“Give batters more game time” – Jaffer

India put up a dominating effort in the first ODI en route to a five-wicket win. On what the visitors can strive to achieve in the second one-dayer, Jaffer opined that India must look to bat first and post a big score.

He stated:

“Bat first and score in excess of 270-280 or 300 and give their batters more game time.”

He also reiterated his earlier stand that Hardik Pandya must bowl more overs.

Jaffer added:

“Probably Hardik Pandya, like I said, get him to bowl more overs. I see him bowling a lot more in the lead up to the World Cup and even in the World Cup. Umran Malik could have done well. I thought he bowled well in patches, few deliveries were really good, but there were a few boundary balls, which has been his concern. Mukesh, I thought, bowled well. Spinners didn’t put a foot wrong. Bowling was really good.”

After India skittled out West Indies for 114, they lost five wickets, but a half-century from Ishan Kishan confirmed victory for the visitors.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert

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