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The happenstance that secured Jadeja's flight ticket to England

ANALYST
Feature
674   //    25 Jan 2019, 23:50 IST

Australia v India - 4th Test: Day 2
Australia v India - 4th Test: Day 2

It's often seen that to change something prevalent for a while is quite tricky a task to carry out. Ashwin and Jadeja were India's premium test bowlers and were clear match winners, especially in India. They were also regulars in ODI setup. Even though they weren't as effective as they were in Tests, with Ashwin in particular being negative in his approach at times, they were backed to the hilt. The basis was their test performances and also because India never had different sets of bowlers for different formats. It was hard to think of other options as they were assumed to be the best. 

The Champions Trophy final 2017 defeat against the arch-rivals Pakistan can be recalled as a major upset. But it also marked the beginning of the domination of wrist spinners in India's ODI cricket. India weren't picking wickets in middle overs for a while but that loss where Ashwin and Jadeja bowled negative lines and didn't try to pick wickets highlighted the fact. 

Earlier that year, Kuldeep Yadav bamboozled the Aussies with his variations and helped India seal the test series. The selectors gave him a chance in the ODIs, assuming him to be a wicket taking option. He was picked for the West Indies series. He was very impressive and played the entire series. Ashwin played the first 3 ODIs and Jadeja the last two. But who would have known that this series could be Ashwin's last ODI series and Jadeja's only limited overs' event for over a year. 

Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvenda Chahal - India's new guard
Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvenda Chahal - India's new guard

Looking ahead at the World Cup, the selectors have rested Ashwin and Jadeja for the Sri Lanka and Australia series so as to try more options. Along with Kuldeep, Chahal and Axar Patel were picked, and the rest is history. Kuldeep's and Chahal's performances turned the tables and Ashwin's and Jadeja's so called rest turned endless. Kuldeep and Chahal formed the most deadly spin duo India had in the limited overs' format.

Axar Patel travelled with the team but just got a game here or there. In the limited opportunities he got, he fared pretty well. He was thought of as the third spin option for the World Cup. Patel would have hoped to get his chance to play at the dusty wickets in Dubai in the Asia Cup. But destiny had other plans. He was ruled out of the Asia Cup due to injury without getting a game. 

Jadeja, who had a good second half of the IPL, was recalled in his place. Amid Pandya's injury, Jadeja was drafted directly in the side to maintain team balance. It was like a second life for him. An experienced player like him wouldn't allow the opportunity go begging. He made the full monty of it. He was good with the ball and also handy down the order helping India in crunch matches against Afghanistan and Bangladesh. 


Jadeja will surely make it to the World Cup
Jadeja will surely make it to the World Cup

With impressive performances and a better batting ability, Jadeja has broken Axar Patel's heart and his hopes for a place in the World Cup squad. It can be termed harsh on Patel who did nothing wrong but Jadeja had given the impression that he is still a pretty handy limited overs' bowler, especially during the back end of the IPL. After Kuldeep and Chahal started dominating the ODI circuit, it was thought that Ashwin and Jadeja would never make a comeback. Jadeja's all round abilities, however, have helped him book his flight to England.

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