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'Not sure whether Ravindra Jadeja can bat in the top six for India in Tests' - Michael Hussey

Ravindra Jadeja in action during the Boxing Day Test at the MCG
Ravindra Jadeja in action during the Boxing Day Test at the MCG
Modified 04 Jan 2021, 17:36 IST

Former Australian cricketer Michael Hussey has doubted all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja's ability to play as a pure batsman for Team India in Test cricket.

The 45-year-old believes Jadeja has found his perfect batting position at No. 7 and it must not be tinkered with.

Ravindra Jadeja had begun his Test career playing as a frontline spinner. However, with time, his batting has improved leaps and bounds. He has scored 1926 runs in 50 Tests at a decent average of 35.66.

The 32-year-old scored a crucial half-century in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), which played a vital role in Team India's emphatic eight-wicket win.

However, while talking to ESPNCricinfo, Hussey explained why Ravindra Jadeja should not be considered a pure batsman just yet.

"I am a big fan of Jadeja of course and I do think his batting has improved immeasurably over the last few years. He is batting with a lot of confidence, a lot more consistency. I would still have a question mark whether you could pick him in the top six for a Test match," Hussey said.
"I think he is perfectly placed at No.7, where he can come in and make those handy runs at length in the batting order. But if you are going to rely on him in the top six to be making hundreds and big hundreds for your country to set up Test matches, I am not sure he is quite there yet," he further added.

Ravindra Jadeja is a Test-quality all-rounder for all conditions: Tom Moody

Ravindra Jadeja celebrates after picking up the crucial wicket of Matthew Wade
Ravindra Jadeja celebrates after picking up the crucial wicket of Matthew Wade

While Hussey had his doubts with Ravindra Jadeja, former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody was pretty convinced that the 32-year-old can play for Team India both as a genuine batsman and a bowler in all types of conditions.

The 55-year-old was impressed with the way Ravindra Jadeja applied himself against the Australian bowling attack at the MCG and scored a crucial half century, which set up a huge first-innings lead for the visitors.

Moody believes it is the right time for Jadeja to take that extra responsibility of a pure batsman, having shown his batting potential on multiple occasions. It would also give the Indian team the added luxury of playing every Test with five bowling options.

"I believe Ravindra Jadeja is a Test-quality all-rounder for all conditions. He has played 50 Test matches, he has had 33 of those at home and only 17 away. I feel that he is ready to embark on a new chapter in his career where he can be leant on as a pure bowler and a pure top-order batsman. It gives the Indian team a wonderful balance," Moody asserted.

Ravindra Jadeja's exploits with both bat and ball in the MCG Test have all but cemented his place in the Indian team for the remainder of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

With Rohit Sharma available for selection in the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, it will be interesting to see who will make way for the dangerous opener in the visitors' playing XI.

Published 04 Jan 2021, 17:36 IST
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