World Cup 2019: Three reasons why Ravindra Jadeja deserved more chances in the tournament
Not too long ago, former Indian cricketer and commentator, Sanjay Manjrekar was involved in a heated Twitter battle with Ravindra Jadeja. At one stage, Manjrekar had labeled the Indian all-rounder as a "bits and pieces" cricketer. Their tussle caught the attention of everyone and became the center of the debate for a few days.
Soon after this incident, Jadeja played his first game in the ICC World Cup 2019 against Sri Lanka. In his ten overs, he conceded only 40 runs and scalped the wicket of Kusal Mendis with a nice tossed-up delivery.
In the semi-final game against New Zealand, he retained his place, and the rest is history. His knock against New Zealand will arguably go down as one of the best knocks in the history of World Cup. It is fair to say that Jadeja has completely shut down all the criticisms with his all-round performance in the semi-final.
It is hard to believe that he played only two games for India in the tournament. On that note, let us look at three reasons why Jadeja should have played more games and deserved more chances in the tournament.
#3 An accurate finger-spinner
Ever since the completion of ICC Champions Trophy 2017, India slowly started to change their bowling attack combination. Impressed with the success of wrist-spinners in the T20s, India began to follow that trend in ODIs. As a result, they dropped R Ashwin and Jadeja from the limited-overs setup.
Since then, the duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal became the prominent spinners in the limited-overs team. This tactic of using two wrist spinners worked wonders for India in the last two years.
During the Asia Cup 2018, Jadeja was recalled to the ODI team as an injury replacement. After the Asia Cup, Virat Kohli included only one wrist spinner in the playing XI along with Jadeja in few matches. This method ensured that the workload of the two leggies was well managed.
Since the World Cup was a huge stage, Kohli did not want to stay away from his tested methods. Hence, he persisted with his successful formula of two wrist spinners in the first few games.
Once the tournament started to progress, the pitches became very slow and flat. Since a finger spinner loves these conditions, India should have moved to the ‘Plan B’ of one wrist spinner and one finger spinner. In this case, the wrist spinner could have attacked from one end and looked for wickets. Meanwhile, Jadeja could have contained the flow of runs from the other end by bowling his typical stump-to-stump line.
Besides, he often hurries the batsmen with his pace and finishes his overs very quickly. Hence, more pressure would have been created from both the ends, which might have led to better returns by the spinners.