Delhi Capitals vice-captain Axar Patel feels skipper David Warner is trying his best to lead from the front, but things are not falling in place for the veteran Australian opener.
DC slumped to their fourth consecutive loss in the ongoing IPL after being outplayed by Mumbai Indians by six wickets here on Tuesday night. They are languishing at the bottom of the table without any points.
Delhi Capitals scored 172 on the Ferozeshah Kotla pitch, which was chased down by the five-time IPL champions on the last ball, with skipper Rohit Sharma playing a capain’s knock of 65.
Even though Warner has been among the runs, scoring 209 in four innings, Axar feels the Australian is not able to close out the games for the side.
“If you talk about the last two-three games, he is trying, but it’s just not happening for him. I don’t know what he is thinking as a batter at that time,” said Axar during the post-match press conference.
Axar also indicated that the Australian stalwart was getting confused over when to drop anchor and when to attack the bowling.
Warner has been criticised for his inordinately slow batting in powerplays, with the 36-year-old opener scoring his half-century at a strike rate of just 108.51 in Tuesday’s game. Though the Australia has scored three half-tons in four games, they have been painfully slow, and one of the reasons for the Delhi franchise’s poor run this season.
Warner scored a 55-ball 65 at a strike rate of 118 against Rajasthan Royals, while against Lucknow Super Giants, the stalwart hit a 48-ball 56 at a strike rate of 116.
“When Prithvi (Shaw) is batting with him, he (Warner) tries to play the anchor role. (And) when wickets are falling from one end, it’s not good (for Warner) to try and keep attacking from the other end as well.
“Even when he is trying, it’s not coming off. Everyone spoke to him — (head coach) Ricky (Ponting), (Shane) Watson, Dada (Sourav Ganguly). The conversation about his strike rate also came up. They looked at his videos and he’s working on it,” added Axar.
Axar, however, feels all is not lost for DC and they need to keep a positive frame of mind to give themselves a chance to qualify for the play-offs.
“After four losses, there are two ways to think — one is you sit back thinking that you’ve lost four games, the run-rate is poor and the qualification is at stake, there is nothing good that’s going to come out of it,” he said.
“On the other hand, if you have a positive attitude, and think about what you’re going to do in the next match, you will be able to bring the performance that you want to bring. It’s important to remain positive and that’s what we keep talking about.” Axar, who made 54 off 25 balls, was critical about his batting as well, saying he could have been more careful with his strokeplay.
Axar picked up a Jason Behrendorff delivery with his wrists, holing out straight to Arshad Khan at deep square.
“Personally, I believe it’s my fault too. I could have played those last 10 balls in a different way and that would’ve added more runs to our account rather than hitting as a compulsion in the last over,” he said.
“It would have been a different game altogether had the score been somewhere between 175-180.” On his improved batting technique, Axar said, “If you are playing for India across the three formats, then that boosts your confidence. Senior players like Virat (Kohli) and Rohit (Sharma), Hardik told me a few things about getting the mindset right.
“As an all-rounder, when you score 20-30 runs, you think you can go for the big shots. I changed that thinking, to control the game and finish it. These were the mindset changes I worked on. From the Sri Lanka series, when I scored runs, I got the confidence and it is that confidence that got carried forward.”