Pakistani's Salman Butt opined that all-rounders Akshar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja are not in the same league, and the latter is the best option when it comes to picking between them ahead of the two-match Test series between India and New Zealand, starting on November 25 in Kanpur.
He further admitted that Patel is an extremely talented cricketer and could be put in the same league as Jadeja in the future, but at the moment, Jadeja is a complete player and an outstanding team man and is the best option for Team India against New Zealand.
The former Pakistan captain further pointed out that Jadeja is exceptional in his job, whether be it batting, bowling, or fielding, which makes him the "better option" currently than Patel for India.
Butt said in a video on his YouTube channel, “Axar Patel is extremely talented, but Ravindra Jadeja is a complete player. Be it batting, bowling, or fielding, he is an outstanding team man. So definitely when one player goes, his replacement comes.”
The left-hander added, “If you don't have Jadeja, then you have Axar Patel, but at the moment, I don't think Axar and Jadeja are in the same league. Axar is very talented and can take that place in the future, but Jadeja is the better option right now.”
Meanwhile, Butt also heaped praise on India's new head coach, Rahul Dravid, for his statement on New Zealand after India's 3-0 clean sweep in the T20I series.
Dravid had said that India had to keep its feet on the ground and needed to be realistic about the whitewash while highlighting that it wasn’t easy for New Zealand to play 3 T20Is in 6 days after the T20 World Cup 2021 Final in the UAE.
Butt explained, “It only reflects utmost clarity and humility. And very realistic and professional talk because India did win but the other team just came from a World Cup final and hence it is not easy to mentally prepare for another international series so fast. They (New Zealand) also lost the toss.”
He signed off by saying, “When you play so much international cricket, there is a difference in intensity as well. So he did take all these factors into account when making that statement. Yes, India tested their bench strength, there was a new captain, new coach and they managed to win. But he is keeping them in line for the hunt. The actual target is the next target which will be in the next 10 months. So this is absolutely the correct and needed approach.”