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World Cup 2019: Mohammad Azharuddin wishes to see Ravindra Jadeja in the semi-finals for India

India v New Zealand – ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Warm Up
India v New Zealand – ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Warm Up
Modified 05 Jul 2019, 19:32 IST

What's the story?

Former India skipper Mohammad Azharuddin believes Ravindra Jadeja must be drafted into the playing XI for the semi-finals of the ongoing World Cup.

According to the legendary batsman, the all-rounder's off-spin on the dry pitches of England, where the ball doesn't come on to the bat, will be a key asset for India should he take the field.

In case you didn't know...

Virat Kohli's men have cemented their place in the semi-finals of the highly coveted tournament, but a few gaping holes are yet to be plugged. Middle order woes, including the form of MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav and Dinesh Karthik seems to be an issue at the moment.

The team might opt to tinker the line-up for the dead rubber against Sri Lanka, as they seek their best playing XI heading into the knockout stage.

Meanwhile, Jadeja has been used sparingly, more often than not as a substitute fielder. He has done exceptionally well on the field, infusing energy among players, stopping runs and plucking the toughest of catches from thin air.

The heart of the matter

The left-armer has also proved his worth as a handy asset to the team in these conditions before, and therefore, Azharuddin feels both his batting and bowling will boost India's chances moving forward.

The former captain, who captained the national team in three World Cups, said:

"Maybe try Jadeja, he is a utility player. In the last game (against Bangladesh) I thought maybe Jadeja could have played because you had a very thin batting line-up."

Azharuddin explained why the 30-year-old must be in the scheme of things for the Men in Blue:

"Jadeja on these (English) wickets with the ball holding up and not coming on to the bat will be a force to reckon with. He is also a good fielder and a lusty batsman. They should try him against Sri Lanka."

What's next?

Surely, with a few issues looming large for India, we can expect a few changes, rather, some bold moves from the management.

They take on Sri Lanka tomorrow, 6 July, at Headingley.

Published 05 Jul 2019, 19:32 IST
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