IND v AUS 2023: “We opened up his hips and shoulders…” Ponting reveals changes he made to Akshar Patel’s technique

Akshar finished the Border-Gavaskar Trophy as India's second highest run-getter.

Akshar Patel | GettyAkshar Patel’s batting was one of the biggest positives for India in the just-concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia.

The spin all-rounder finished the series as India’s second highest run-getter with 264 runs from five innings, including three half-centuries.

During the series, Akshar credited Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting for his transformation as a batter.

After the culmination of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Ponting has now opened up on the role he has played in helping Akshar Patel improve his batting.

"I've known Akshar for a long time and he was only a young boy in the squad at Mumbai when I first went there," Ponting said while speaking on the ICC Review.

"I've known that there's been a certain amount of batting skill there that really, apart from the last couple of years, he hadn't really been showing at IPL level or even at international level.

“There were a few little technique changes that we made with him. We just opened up his hips and his shoulders a little bit. So he was a bit more chest-on towards the right-arm fast bowlers,” he added.

Ponting said that Akshar was earlier susceptible against short-pitched bowling because he was too side-on.

“If there was ever a weakness in his game, it was the short ball that was sort of directed at his body. The reason that he was a bit weak in that area was he was too side-on, and the ball was always sort of in behind his right shoulder,” the former Australia skipper noted.

"We just tried to open him up a little bit, which gave him a little bit more access to the ball. He's always been a beautiful offside player. You know, his cover driving and cutting is as good as anyone's. And if anything, he was just a little bit too blocked off to be able to score well on the leg side.”

Ponting said Akshar was a fast learner and managed to grasp things quickly.

"We tweaked a few things there and because he's such a good young person to work with, and he's obviously very talented, so therefore he was a fast learner and was able to pick things up really quickly and change his technique enough to show really, really good improvement really early on."

With the 2023 edition of IPL around the corner, the Delhi Capitals coach said he wants to get a bit more out of Akshar as the all-rounder is good enough to bat at No. 6.

"I want to get a bit more out of him at the Delhi Capitals this year, that's for sure,” Ponting said. “A few times last year we sort of batted him up a little bit higher. I think he's good enough to bat No.6 probably in an IPL team."


By Salman Anjum - 14 Mar, 2023

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