Nagaland News Watch

IND vs ENG: Ravindra Jadeja, the hero of Rajkot, is prepared for more responsibility in India’s middle order

<p>In the first two Tests of the upcoming five-match series against England, India has been forced to depend on rising talents due to the unavailability of important players, in contrast to conventional selection riches and regularly strong performances at home.</p>
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<p>Now that the five-match Test series is locked at one, India will be travelling to Rajkot with their batting order significantly altered due to the absence of Shreyas Iyer and the fact that KL Rahul is still recovering from a quadriceps injury. Nonetheless, there is good news for the Indian squad, which is struggling with injuries and fitness issues: all-round sensation Ravindra Jadeja has improved steadily in camp despite missing the second Test due to a hamstring strain. For the third Test against England, fellow spinner Kuldeep Yadav has stated that the Rajkot native would be ready.</p>
<p>In a lengthy net session on Tuesday, Ravindra Jadeja looked comfortable as he batted and then rolled his arm over during India’s pre-match warm-up in Rajkot. The club management is expecting the senior pro to come up with the bat and take on a larger role, as seen by that heated hitting practice. From the sidelines, skipper Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid were closely observing Jadeja’s time in the nets.</p>
<p>Remember, Jadeja is a seasoned Test player of ten years, and one of the main factors contributing to India’s success at the bottom end of the bat in the previous five years has been his batting brilliance. Following several recent top-order failures, particularly away from home, Jadeja has been India’s crisis man. Still, India’s middle order needs someone of Jadeja’s caliber to come in, especially because Rahul hasn’t recovered fully from his injury and Virat Kohli decided not to play in the series.</p>
<p><strong>THE RISING OF JADEJA AS A TEST BATTER</strong><br />
Upon his ascent to prominence in Test cricket, Ravindra Jadeja personified the quintessential bowling all-round player, an unwavering force on favourable grounds. His skill with the ball was evident as he dismantled opposition hitters with ease, treating them like summertime pests. But he had trouble focusing for very long while hitting. He liked to play, although he was easily distracted most of the time. Getting high scores in Test matches didn’t seem to come easily to him. Building an innings was as foreign to him as following someone on social media, even though he didn’t follow anybody on Instagram.</p>
<p>His best score in 26 innings as a batter in international cricket was 68. Additionally, he failed to average more than 22.5 with the bat in any of his first five seasons of playing Test cricket. After being removed from limited-overs contests, he would return to domestic cricket, hit significant runs, and eventually rejoin the squad. But for him, things took a turn in 2018. The Indian squad thought he was capable of playing extended innings defensively, therefore they expected more from him than simply “fun fifties”.</p>
<p>As of 2018, Jadeja has the second-highest average among Indian batsmen who have amassed 500 or more runs in Test cricket; Rohit Sharma is the only player who is higher than him. Furthermore, at this time, his strike rate in Test cricket is 55.79, which is little lower than his career strike rate of 59.78. This suggests that at this point in his career, he is adopting a more patient batting strategy.</p>
<p>The left-handed all-rounder proved to be a vital member of India’s bottom order, scoring important runs under difficult circumstances. By the time his first ten years of Test cricket came to an end in 2022, he had amassed three fifties and a century in England alone. His batting ability got so great that, on foreign tours, India often used him as the only spinner, benching their best off-spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin.</p>
<p><strong>IS JADEJA ABLE TO COMPENSATE?</strong><br />
Jadeja may benefit from the Rajkot pitch’s tendency to aid spin, which has been known to produce run-fests in the past. Given that the pitch isn’t expected to be a wild turner and could even have less bounce, Jadeja’s subtle knowledge of the home field advantages might be very helpful. He is a serious candidate to open India’s innings in the middle order due to his ability to modify his game to suit the conditions of the pitch.</p>
<p>Due to his flexibility and experience, Jadeja is a strong contender to fill in for Rahul and Kohli when they are not available. He is the ideal choice for the No. 4 or No. 5 batting spot because of his skill with the bat and ball as well as his familiarity with the Rajkot pitch. This helps the club maintain balance and strengthen their middle order during difficult times.</p>
<p>If Jadeja bats higher in the order, Sarfaraz Khan could have to wait longer to get his maiden Test cap. If Jadeja can also bat in the middle order, India will have six bowling options for the Rajkot Test (four spinners, including Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, and Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj, taking up the pace baton).</p>