Champions Trophy: Kohli reveals why Jadhav was picked to bowl ahead of Yuvraj
What’s the story?
India captain Virat Kohli has mentioned the ‘direction of the breeze’ at the Oval as the reason behind picking Kedar Jadhav to bowl ahead of Yuvraj Singh during India’s clash against Sri Lanka yesterday.
With none of the frontline bowlers being able to break the 159-run second-wicket stand between Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis, Kohli resorted to Jadhav in the 27th over, hoping that the off-spinner to could give the team a breakthrough.
On being asked if Yuvraj, who’s got a better track record as a bowler could have been a better option at that stage, Kohli quipped, “See, if the team is four or five down and you have to get few overs out of the way from the part-timer, then Yuvi can be used, but at that stage, I did not think — because Jadeja was also going for runs, and it was difficult to bowl with the breeze going that side to the shorter boundary.
“If Jadeja is finding it difficult, then obviously Yuvi would have found it a bit more difficult as well.”
In case you didn’t know...
Exceeding all expectations and putting all sorts of predictions to rest, Sri Lanka stunned India in their second game of the ICC Champions Trophy at the Oval, beating their Asian rivals by 7 wickets.
A target of 322 set by India looked to be a formidable one, but Sri Lanka did exceedingly well in terms of planning the run chase, and the partnership between Gunathilaka and Mendis laid the platform for the middle-order batsmen to finish it off.
India did manage to pull off two run outs in the space of five overs, but the pair of Kusal Perera and the captain Angelo Mathews made sure that the Lankans didn’t falter thereafter and kept the scoring rate in check.
Earlier, riding on Shikhar Dhawan’s record-breaking third Champions Trophy hundred and half centuries by Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni, India posted a formidable total of 321/6 in their 50 overs.
Sri Lanka’s counter-attack seemed to be taking the game away from the defending champions and Kohli was left with no option but to use a part-time bowler in his quest of getting a wicket.
The decision to use Jadhav and using himself later one was a well-planned one as he later revealed. “I thought — I spoke to MS as well, and we both thought that Kedar was a better bet at that time,” Kohli said.
“Then because in England, generally, if you bowl little seamers, then you can trouble the batsman. So I thought why not try a few overs there as well? So I think we covered up pretty well. Wicket is a bit more dry than, which obviously comes into contention,” he added.
While Kohli’s first over did produce the run out of Gunathilka and Bhuvneshwar Kumar ran Mendis out five overs later, India couldn’t capitalize on the departure of Sri Lanka’s two well-set batsmen and allowed Perea and Mathews to re-build the Lankan innings.
The option of bowling part-time bowlers is always there if none of your frontline bowlers are getting you wickets, but persisting with them after they have given you the desired breakthrough isn’t advisable.
While Kohli’s over did give India a wicket, instead of continuing with Jadhav and himself, perhaps he could have brought on someone like Umesh Yadav or Bhuvneshwar Kumar to put the new batsman under pressure.
Kohli did bring back Bhuvneshwar, but that was only in the 32nd over, which also produced India a wicket, but by that time, Perea had got his eye in.