ICC CWC 2019 – Should Ravindra Jadeja be included in the playing XI in India’s World Cup opener?

Ravindra Jadeja in World Cup 2019

Ravindra Jadeja:- On a seeming wicket which had too much grass on the surface, winning the toss and opting to bat would have been an ideal decision, however, skipper Virat Kohli chose otherwise in what was their first warm-up game of the Cricket World Cup 2019. India showed interest in testing their batsmen’s ability to score runs in tough conditions. The move however backfired as Indian batting line up failed miserably at the Oval on Saturday.

Ravindra Jadeja’s all-around performance against New Zealand in Warm Up Match

Ravindra Jadeja

Top order batsmen with the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul lost their wickets cheaply as India were tottering at 39 for four inside eleven overs. Keeper Dinesh Karthik couldn’t make use of the opportunity as he too didn’t disturb much to the scorers, having played just three deliveries in his 4-run knock.

India had lost seven wickets for just 91 runs as they were on course for a major embarrassment in their first game of the World Cup. Ravindra Jadeja who was not even sure of a place in India’s World Cup squad one month ago came to the forefront and guided his side to a respectable 179 run total in the first innings. The left-hander scored valiant 50-ball 54 run innings, including six fours and two sixes. He formed a 62-run partnership for the ninth wicket with Kuldeep Yadav, showing that he has in him to contribute with the bat if required.

Given, India lack depth in batting and how pitches in England are behaving lately, Ravindra Jadeja has yet again made a formidable case of adding him in the playing eleven in India’s World Cup opener against South Africa on 5th June. Jadeja getting included as the second all-rounder in the side alongside Hardik Pandya would make a world of good for Team India in the World Cup.

Jadeja’s being a left-arm spinner offers variety and what he brings to the table with his fielding isn’t an unknown fact. In the game against New Zealand, the southpaw showed the world that if given adequate time at the crease he has the ability to play a long inning and thereby provide India depth in their batting department.

Ravindra Jadeja's Batting

In the post-match conference, Ravindra Jadeja spoke about how he approached his fighting half-century. “I had a lot of time as there were many overs left. So I was talking to myself to not get the shot-selection wrong. There was no rush. I knew if I can clear the initial overs, it will be helpful for me and that is what happened,” he said.

“ I was working on my batting during IPL. Whenever I get a chance, I go to the nets and work on technique and shot selection,” he added

Jadeja made a decent job with the ball too and was also the most successful spinner out of the three including Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, boasting of impressive figures of 1 for 27 in seven overs.

“Everywhere I play, I will continue doing what I do. I will not put pressure on myself thinking about the World Cup and will try to keep it simple,” he said.

Talking about the qualities that Ravindra Jadeja brings to the side, India ‘A’ head coach Sitanshu Kotak, who has played with and coached Jadeja in Saurashtra, said: “He is the sort of player any captain or coach would love to have in his team. He brings so many skills to the table.”.

Ravindra Jadeja in World Cup 2019

Ravindra Jadeja’s all-around performance against New Zealand in the first warm-up game must have forced the management to re-think on their playing eleven for their first match in the World Cup 2019, if not anything.

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