ICC World Cup 2019: Why Ravindra Jadeja should get a spot in the Indian squad
All the teams including India are striving hard to find the perfect combination on which they can rely for the forthcoming World Cup 2019. The home series against Australia was their last international series before the mega event, and although India ended up losing 2-3, Virat Kohli is clear about their playing XI for the World Cup.
Whether or not he plays in the XI though, Ravindra Jadeja has a good chance of being included in the squad. And there are several reasons for that.
Hardik Pandya, as an all-rounder, is the perfect option for the World Cup. In fact, he will definitely find a place in the playing XI. But what if he gets injured?
The all-rounder was also named initially in the squad for the home series against Australia. But due to lower back stiffness, he had to be replaced.
Earlier, Pandya was out of the squad for about three months due to the same reason. So it seems logical for India to have a backup option in place for the World Cup.
The men in blue could go with Vijay Shankar, considering his great form with the bat. But Shankar is yet to prove his capability with the ball. The 28-year-old didn't get a chance to bowl even a single ball in the entire New Zealand series. Although Shankar bowled some overs in the recently concluded series, he was not that effective.
The most logical option for India in such a case is Jadeja. Although he has not been at his best in recent times, his experience could prove invaluable to the team.
Jadeja has an average of 30 in ODIs with 10 fifties under his belt. The 30-year-old has single- handedly won many matches for India in the past - like the third ODI against NZ, where he slammed a fantastic 66 off just 45 balls including a last-ball six to tie the match.
Jadeja is an effective bowler too. He has scalped 174 wickets in ODIs, and with his rocket throw he can run any batsman out.
Shankar on the other hand hasn't done anything with the ball at the international level to be included as an all-rounder in such a big tournament. That said. Shankar can be seen as a pure batsman who can bowl a few overs, like Kedar Jadhav, and can replace any off-form batsman in the middle of the tournament.
But another area to be taken into account is the spin department. Sure, Jadeja can never take the place of the 'KulCha' duo, who are the heart of the Indian bowling line-up. Both Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are the first priority to feature in the playing XI. But if one of them lose form or get injured in the middle of the tournament, then it would be useful for India to have the services of Jadeja readily available.
Concluding all the above factors, it does seem like Jadeja is the best option if India wish to take a backup all-rounder to England.