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Dinesh Karthik IND vs SA: Why was Akshar Patel sent before Dinesh Karthik? Shreyas Iyer clarified

Sending Axar Patel to bat ahead of Dinesh Karthik may seem odd but top-order batsman Shreyas Iyer defended the decision taken in the second T20I against South Africa. He said that this was done considering the circumstances to steal a couple of runs (rotate the strike). This strategy did not work and Axar struggled to score runs. His dismissal in the 17th over reduced India’s score to 112 for six.

Coming to bat at number seven, Karthik’s 30 not out helped India reach 148 for six. Shreyas told reporters after the match, ‘We had adopted such a strategy earlier also. When Axar landed at the crease, we had seven overs left. He can take a couple of runs and rotate the strike.
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He said, ‘Also then there was no need for anyone to hit the crease and hit with the first ball. DK (Karthik) can do that but he has been more beneficial to us after 15 overs where he can play long shots as soon as he hits the crease. Shreyas argued that even Karthik had to struggle to score runs on this wicket.

He said, ‘Even in the beginning, he (Karthik) also found it a little difficult to score runs. The wicket played a big role in this match. As far as this strategy is concerned, we will follow it in future also. If Karthik had been sent earlier, India could have scored more than 160 runs and Shreyas also admitted that they fell almost 12 runs short in the end.

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He said, ‘If you look at the match, I think 160 runs on this wicket would have been really good to put a little pressure, but we were 12 runs short of that.’ South Africa took a 2-0 lead in the five-match series after registering a four-wicket win with the help of Heinrich Klaasen’s 81.

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