‘He hasn’t really done that much recently’: Former England bowler identifies India’s ‘weak link’ against New Zealand

Despite the absence of the star trio of Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, the Indian team managed to beat New Zealand in the opening T20I in Jaipur on Wednesday. This is an indication of the strong bench strength that India possesses. India vs New Zealand Live Cricket Score

When the T20I squad for was announced, it packed a few surprised as the overall composition of the squad looked balance. Having said that, a former England bowler reckons there is a weak link in India’s squad for the New Zealand T20Is.

Also Read | ‘He deserves a chance, but would be unfair on Axar’: Uthappa highlights selection dilemma for India ahead of 2nd NZ T20I

Ex-spinner Graeme Swann reckons left-arm spinner Axar Patel could be the one New Zealand could target. Calling Axar the weak link and giving him a rating of 8 out of 10, Swann reckons the fact that Axar is coming off an uneventful IPL may not make him the biggest of threats. Axar claimed 15 wickets from 12 IPL matches, and returned 0/31 in the first T20I in Jaipur. He has grabbed nine wickets from 13 T20Is for India.

“He might be the weak link. He’s not really done that much recently. He is still an 8 out 10. He didn’t have the greatest of IPL without doing anything wrong. He didn’t set the world alight. Brilliant cricketer,” Swann told Cricket.com.

Also Read | India’s Predicted XI vs New Zealand, 2nd T20: Siraj injury, Chahar’s expensive outing could make way for two more debuts

Swann recalled Axar’s terrific exploits against England in the home series against India back in February of this year. The left-arm spinner, playing his debut series, flayed England by picking up 27 wickets in three Tests, including four five-wicket hauls and a match half of 10 wickets in the second game in Ahmedabad. 

“And maybe me saying this is begrudging because he just destroyed (England). I mean, England were supposed to win that Test series in India after the Test in Chennai, but thanks to Axar Patel, England came third in a two-way race,” pointed out Swann.

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Anjali Singh

Anjali Singh Born on 15 Jun 2001 an Indian author and activist from Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh. Live in New Delhi