World Cup 2019: Why India should play Vijay Shankar in place of Kedar Jadhav
Just as the Indian squad were looking balanced and relatively in form in the World Cup 2019, they were jolted by an injury to Shikhar Dhawan. The left-handed opener, who scored a sensational century against Austrialia, has been ruled out for three weeks with a thumb injury. As a result, KL Rahul will be expected to open the batting with Rohit Sharma, with the middle order muddle set to restart. While it is likely that either Vijay Shankar or Dinesh Karthik will take up Rahul's middle order slot, there is one player in the middle order who isn't in the best of form - Kedar Jadhav.
His role in the side is that of an all-rounder. He is expected to complete a few overs, especially when any of the frontline bowlers are having an off day. So, it is vital for him to be consistent with his bowling and also keep his place in the squad based on his batting as well. But his returns so far this World Cup haven't been too inspiring.
Shankar is a technically solid batsman, a skill that is vital in order to face the seaming conditions in England and Wales. As he has shown in the recent series against New Zealand, he is adept at playing a swinging ball and does not struggle to rotate the strike when the need arises. Furthermore, in the English pitches, fast bowling typically fares better than spin bowling.
So why not replace Kedar with Shankar? Shankar can play a similar role to Kedar, except that he bowls pace and can build an innings better. The side have enough bowlers already -six - if one of Kedar and Shankar are playing. Having both of them playing will result in the team having seven bowlers.
A reason for keeping only one of them in the XI is that India will then have the option of playing a consistent player in Dinesh Karthik, who can turn a game around in a couple of balls or can play a long inning as well. The quality that keeps Kedar in the side is that he can bowl too. If Shankar can contribute in that aspect as well, India will have the same number of bowling options. Plus, if Shankar replaces Kedar, then Karthik can come in as well. It's up to the team management to decide which combination to go for in the upcoming games.
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