India had a very successful outing against New Zealand, whitewashing them 3-0 in the test series which helped them snatch the No.1 spot from Pakistan subsequently giving them the ICC Test Championship. The Men in Blue did not have such a smooth outing in the ODI series but thanks to the brilliance of Virat Kohli and Amit Mishra amongst others, the Men in Blue defeated the Kiwis 3-2 in the five-match ODI series.
However, the Indian team underwent two changes during the course of the Test series as the talented KL Rahul sustained a hamstring injury during the first Test and Ishant Sharma caught chikungunya during the second Test at Kanpur.
The Indian team had two contrasting replacements in the experienced Gautam Gambhir who earned a recall after being obscure from the national team since 2014 and 26-year old Jayant Yadav who was yet to make an appearance in the international arena after not playing a single match in India’s tour of Zimbabwe earlier this year despite being selected in the squad.
Yadav did not play in the third Test but was selected in the ODI squad. He made his ODI debut in the all-important final ODI of the series at Vishakhapatnam, replacing Hardik Pandya who had a memorable outing in the first ODI but his performances went downhill after.
He came into bat during the final over of the Indian innings with only two balls left and in his only ball of the match, gently worked Trent Boult’s full-length delivery to midwicket to get his first runs in international cricket.
During bowling, Yadav was not under any sort of pressure as other bowlers had already caused substantial damage to New Zealand by the time he came into bowl. Yadav’s debut turned out to be a decent one as it took him only two overs to get his first wicket in international cricket, trapping Corey Anderson lbw in the 19th over.
The Delhi-born player bowled only four overs (18 of his 24 deliveries were dot balls) but conceded a mere eight runs and was good in tossing the ball well which eventually earned him his first wicket. Yadav’s performance was not very impressive as he did not have much to do but looking at his first-class performances of recent times, it is enough to suggest that he could well be a crucial player for India in the future.
Now let’s take a look at Jayant Yadav’s life and career.
Early Ranji career and breakthrough
Yadav was born in Delhi in 1990 but has been playing for the Haryana Ranji team since 2011. The 26-year-old is predominantly a right-arm offspinner who’s capable of playing cameos as a lower middle-order batsman which was why he was picked for the ODI series against New Zealand, as quick runs during the death overs can be a deciding factor on Indian wickets.
The off-spinner made his first-class debut for Haryana against Gujarat in 2011 and had a decent outing on his debut, picking up three wickets in the match (47-3 in the first innings and 37-3 in the second innings) as Haryana beat Gujarat by 140 runs. Yadav then came into the limelight in the following season following a very sensational performance with the bat in one of Haryana’s matches in an overall disappointing campaign.
It was Haryana’s penultimate match of the season against Karnataka. Being put into bat first by home skipper Stuart Binny, Haryana were tottering at 168/7 when Jayant Yadav joined skipper Amit Mishra on the crease. The duo put up a partnership of 392 for the eighth wicket with Yadav scoring 211 runs off 367 deliveries, hitting 26 boundaries to earn three points for Haryana.
Earlier that year, he played for the Haryana side in a Tour match against the visiting England team and had figures of 110-4 in the first innings, including the wicket of England skipper Alastair Cook.
Rise in the Domestic circuit and IPL signing
However, his finest Ranji season came in 2014-15 as he topped Haryana’s wicket-taking charts with a total of 33 wickets at an impressive average of 17.66 and established himself as a pretty handy bowler. He soon found himself in the India A squad against South Africa A and Bangladesh A.
The next big thing in Yadav’s career came in 2015 when he was signed by IPL franchise Delhi Daredevils and he made his debut against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Raipur where he opened the bowling and bowled a very economical spell of 19-1 in his four overs with his first IPL scalp being Eoin Morgan.
He then featured in Delhi’s remaining two matches, picking up one wicket for eight runs in their win against the Chennai Super Kings and going for only two runs in his only over in the washed out match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Yadav was retained for the following season but did not play until the Daredevils’ tenth match of the season against Rising Pune Supergiants, where he was economical again, with figures of 25-1 in his four overs.
He played a few more matches for Delhi in the tournament but conceded a little more as they were eliminated in the league stageitself. However, in the eight IPL matches he has played, Yadav has taken four wickets at an economy rate of 6.42, which can be considered pretty good in T20 cricket.
The 26-year-old has so far racked up 1548 first class runs at an average of 28.14 and has taken 117 first class wickets at an impressive average of 29.05 with an impressive economy rate of 3.26. While Yadav’s batting hasn’t been so good in the limited-overs format, his economy rate with the ball has been pretty good. In List-A matches, Yadav has an economy rate of just 3.84 and in T20s, he boasts of an impressive economy rate of just 5.97.
The X-factor that Yadav could offer to the Indian team
Yadav’s ability to get quick runs down the order also makes him a good finisher, something that India are in dire need of as MS Dhoni’s form has been patchy lately and with Hardik Pandya not being the most consistent of finishers, Yadav’s cameos and his ability to contain runs could well make him the all-rounder India have been looking for all this time, specially in limited overs cricket.