Axar or Jadeja: India’s World Cup spin all-rounder? 2023

Sanath Jayasuriya and Yuvraj Singh share what? The last two subcontinental men’s World Cups saw them win Player of the Tournament. Both left-handed hitters and left-arm orthodox bowlers, they were spin-bowling all-rounders, the most significant sort of player in the subcontinent.

Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja, two seemingly identical cricketers, might be key players in the ODI World Cup. The two differ in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Before making a decision, consider their distinctions.

High-level comparison

Over the years, Axar has been considered the better bowler and Jadeja the better batsman, especially in white-ball cricket. Axar has fewer than 500 ODI runs at an average under twenty and a strike rate slightly above a run-a-ball, whereas Jadeja has almost 2,500 at nearly 33 and 85.

Jadeja has 191 ODI wickets at just under five runs per over, while Axar has 58 at four and a half. Axar has also taken wickets at a higher average (31.4 vs. 37.4) and strike rate (41.6 vs. 45.6).

Recent patterns have altered.

Axar’s Upturn with the Bat

Axar Patel has played four Tests, five ODIs, and fifteen T20s since 2023. 712 runs at 44.5 average in these games. Before this year, his international and IPL batting average was 19.38.

Axar’s batting has improved throughout formats. He scored his first T20I half-century, a counter-attacking 65 from 31 deliveries against Sri Lanka, and was India’s second-highest scorer in the Border Gavaskar Trophy earlier this year.

He has scored over 250 runs at around 140 strike rate in the IPL. He might have scored 400 runs in IPL 2023 if Delhi Capitals had used him better.

Jadeja’s deteriorating pace-hitting and non-existent spin-hitting

In limited-overs cricket, Jadeja has fallen while Axar has grown.

Jadeja appeared to have turned a corner in 2016 red-ball cricket and 2020 limited overs. In 2020, he scored 223 ODI runs at 55.8 and 98.7, 54 T20I runs at 192.9, and 232 IPL runs at 172.

Pace-hitting surprised everyone. He had 205 against fast bowlers in IPL 2020, rising to 218.5 towards the end. The limited-overs finisher Jadeja appeared. It was a false dawn.

Jadeja has scored 57.5 ODIs, 139.7 T20Is, and 123.26 IPL runs since last year. None are good enough for a No.7 hitter. Since last year, his IPL strike rate against fast bowlers has plummeted to 134.6, indicating a reduction in pace-hitting. Axar beats Jadeja at spin-batting.

Jadeja averages 44.1 and strikes at 71.5 runs per hundred balls in ODIs, whereas Axar averages 49.8 and strikes slightly beyond 100 against spin.

IPL 2023 ball reversal

In the last year, Axar has outscored Jadeja in limited-overs cricket. However, bowling has improved in IPL 2023. Jadeja has 16 wickets in 13 games, while Axar has ten in 11 innings. Axar has been cheaper than Jadeja.

Who fits ODI better?

Axar’s current form gives the Indian ODI XI a lot of alternatives and versatility. Jadeja’s expertise and mini-resurgence with the ball may entice you to pick him over Axar. Axar, unlike Jadeja, can take spin and be floated up without Rishabh Pant in the middle order. He can finish off quick bowlers at No.7.

Axar can bowl in the Powerplay against spin-prone top orders. Jadeja has only 1.4% of his ODI overs in the opening 10.

As in two ODIs against Australia before IPL 2023, they might play together. Axar Patel should be selected for the ODI World Cup unless India’s fortunes alter in the coming months.

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