IPL 2023: Unfair To Criticise Prithvi Shaw And Sarfaraz Khan, Says Ajit Agarkar

The struggles of Prithvi Shaw and Sarfaraz Khan against top quality pace attack has been the talking point in Delhi Capitals’ crushing defeats so far, but bowling coach Ajit Agarkar finds it unfair to single out any player when the failure has been a collective one. 

Lucknow Super Giants beat DC by 50 runs in their first game before Gujarat Titans on Tuesday comfortably romped home by six wickets with 11 balls to spare.

In both the games, the two Mumbaikars, who have been prolific batters at the domestic level, seemed to have struggled against likes of Mark Wood (LSG), Mohammed Shami and Alzarri Joseph (GT), all of whom can bowl at 145 plus clicks, and get movement and bounce at good speed.

“I mean they (Shaw and Sarfaraz) have got runs against fast bowling. I don’t think we batted well so why point out one or two guys,” Agarkar said.

For Agarkar, the entire top order needs to step up.

“None of our top order players really got going in both the games. We haven’t had big runs at the top which some of the other teams have.”

After being in a tangle against short ball by Wood in the first game, Sarfaraz was hit on the head by Alzarri and umpires called for a concussion check as he struggled to get to 30 off 33 balls.

“No point picking individuals, collectively we haven’t been good on both nights and we need to improve as we are playing against some good teams. So lot of credit to Gujarat but we need to bat collectively as a unit to get results,” he reasoned.

Asked if the problem is because of the standard of bowling these two face at the domestic level with average speed of 130 to 132 kmph, Agarkar reminded that Shaw has a Test hundred on debut.

“We are talking about Prithvi Shaw who has got a Test hundred on debut. He is not playing IPL for the first time. So again why pick on people?

“When you lose, it’s not because of one or two people. I think you have to accept collective effort hasn’t been good tonight (Tuesday) and you have to accept it. We have got personnel to do it. We just need to apply ourselves better,” he said.

Agarkar insisted that Sarfaraz’s runs in domestic cricket cannot be viewed in isolation.

“We are talking about two people who have got heaps of runs. There are no doubts that it’s different standard when you play domestic cricket and then come to IPL. But because you have scored heaps of runs (in domestic cricket) and have done that before. It’s all about adjustments.”

Both have played multiple editions of IPL and even got runs.

“Not like they are playing IPL for the first time. Then you could ask the question (of not measuring up). They have done it before and they will get right. At the moment we haven’t but they will improve,” Agarkar said.

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