IPL 2018: Brad Hodge justifies Axar Patel’s promotion ahead of Yuvraj Singh

There was a lot of furore as KXIP spent Patel to bat ahead of a much experienced Yuvraj.

Brad Hodge
Brad Hodge. (Photo by Morne DeKlerk – CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

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The Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) lost their erstwhile match against the Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Wankhede Stadium by a slender margin of three runs. They restricted the hosts to 186 runs courtesy of Andrew Tye’s four-wicket haul. During their run-chase, KL Rahul and Aaron Finch notched a 110-run partnership and laid the platform for the visitors to trace down the target.

Punjab have shuffled their batting order on a few occasions and the tactics haven’t quite worked out for them. They sent Ravichandran Ashwin at number three the other night against the Rajasthan Royals (RR). Against Rohit Sharma’s men, they promoted Axar Patel ahead of Yuvraj Singh. Albeit, he smacked a six over midwicket, but couldn’t take his team over the finishing line.

Hodge takes a stand on the strategy

Yuvraj took charge after the fall of KL Rahul’s wicket in the 19th over with the Kings requiring 20 runs from the last nine balls. Yuvi flung his bat, but couldn’t make proper connection. In the final over, he was nipped out by Mitchell McClenaghan and he could only score a solitary run in three balls. Brad Hodge, the head coach of the team, put forth the reasons behind Patel’s promotion ahead of Yuvraj.

“The logic is that (Aaron) Finch and KL (Rahul) batted a lot longer than we anticipated and Yuvraj’s role is to finish the innings. If he goes and gets only that amount of time to bat, then there is not much he can do the way game is structured,” Brad Hodge was quoted as saying in Times Now.

“Axar Patel has probably struck the ball well in the last three games and probably more likely in our opinion to clear the fence straightaway,” he added in support of Patel’s batting abilities.

Punjab is currently languishing in the seventh position of the league table and have an abysmal Net Run Rate of -0.490, the worst among the eight teams. They face the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the MCA Stadium in Pune and need to beat MS Dhoni’s men by a fair margin in order to progress to the next round.

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