Ac­cu­racy and speed make Jadeja lethal

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Chan­der Shekhar Luthra shekhar. luthra@ dnain­dia. net — PTI

Kan­pur: About half- an- hour be­fore the start of Day Three on Satur­day, Team In­dia coach Anil Kum­ble was seen pass­ing on few in­struc­tions in the mid­dle to lef­t­arm spin­ner Ravin­dra Jadeja.

One of the lead­ing spin­ners dur­ing his play­ing days, Kum­ble was ob­vi­ously try­ing to make Jadeja aware of the rough patches cre­ated around the bat­ting crease over last two days.

With match very much hang­ing in bal­ance, 152 for one in re­ply to In­dia’s first in­nings to­tal of 318, the con­ver­sa­tion must had dwelled on to bowl­ing in the right ar­eas along­with not giv­ing any space for Kiwi bat­ters to score freely.

As Kane Wil­liamson and Tom Latham walked in once again to take their solid part­ner­ship ahead, the two In­dian spin­ners — R Ash­win and Jadeja — were ex­pected to bowl to a plan. Es­pe­cially, it was more for Jadeja as he has bowled straighter of the two.

It is a dif­fer­ent story that with his lim­ited spin­ning abil­i­ties, Jadeja has be­come the best bowler in terms of bowl­ing av­er­age ( 15.60) in the world. And there is some dis­tance to the sec­ond best on this list, as the next is Aus­tralian leg­end Richie Be­naud with 19.32 ( count­ing any bowler with 50 or more wick­ets).

Armed with Kum­ble’s ad­vice, the 27- year- old left- armer cre­ated a havoc in the Ki­wis camp. His quicker de­liv­er­ies through the air pushed al­most all the tour­ing bats- men on the back­foot. And that was the key on this crum­bling Kan­pur wicket as Jadeja picked up his fifth five- wicket haul in Tests to re­strict tourists to 262.

It is an­other thing that Jadeja has only taken 21 wick­ets in the 14 in­nings that he has bowled out­side In­dian sub­con­ti­nent.

Jadeja’s big­gest strength is cer- tainly his ac­cu­racy and abil­ity to bowl quicker through the air. And to­gether with his shorter run up, the speed with which he fin­ishes overs rat­tles al­most all the op­po­si­tion sides. Even though he is not a good turner like Ash­win, but has been be­come skip­per Vi­rat Kohli’s first choice for his abil­ity to get break­throughs at cru­cial sit­u­a­tions.

One fine ex­am­ple of how both th­ese new- age spin­ners are com­ple­ment­ing each other was the re­cent se­ries against South Africa. For­get the qual­ity of wick­ets, the duo scalped 50 — Ash­win ( 31) and Jadeja ( 19) — out of the to­tal 70 wick­ets that fell dur­ing the se­ries vic­tory. Karachi: Pak­istan cricket com­mu­nity has ridiculed the state­ment given by BCCI pres­i­dent Anurag Thakur, say­ing even when ties be­tween the two coun­tries were bet­ter In­dia had avoided play­ing Pak­istan in a bi­lat­eral se­ries.

Thakur, also a top ranked leader of the rul­ing BJP in In­dia, on Fri­day said in a state­ment that there was no ques­tion of play­ing Pak­istan in cricket. “I just don’t un­der­stand what he wants to say. For the last eight years In­dia has avoided play­ing us in a proper bi­lat­eral se­ries even when re­la­tions were bet­ter,” for­mer cap­tain, Muham­mad Yousuf said on Satur­day.

The Pak­istan Cricket Board avoided mak­ing any of­fi­cial com­ments but a top of­fi­cial con­ceded that Thakur’s state­ment had caught them by sur­prise. “It is an out and out po­lit­i­cal state­ment from the pres­i­dent of the BCCI. We are dis­ap­pointed as we have been try­ing hard for a long time now to nor­mal­ize cricket ties with In­dia and we have al­ways be­lieved in keep­ing sports and pol­i­tics apart,” the of­fi­cial said.

Yousuf, how­ever, was adamant that the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil should take no­tice of Thakur’s tirade. “The ICC keeps on say­ing it will not tol­er­ate pol­i­tics or gov­ern­ment in­ter­fer­ence in mem­ber boards and the BCCI pres­i­dent is mak­ing po­lit­i­cal state­ments. Ei­ther he speak as a BJP leader or BCCI head,” Yousuf said.

He lamented that when­ever he played in In­dia the peo­ple there en­joyed the matches but un­for­tu­nately now there was no Indo- Pak se­ries. For­mer cap­tain, Rashid Latif said that Thakur’s state­ment car­ried no weight as al­ready In­dia had made it clear it didn’t want to play against Pak­istan. “The last time we went to In­dia in 2012 as a good­will ges­ture for a short se­ries of one- day and T20 matches but since 2007 the In­dian board has avoided play­ing us,” he noted.

Ab­dul Qadir said Pak­istan had al­ways tried to keep pol­i­tics out of cricket with In­dia but ap­par­ently the BCCI now was a body dom­i­nated by politi­cians.

— AP

Ravin­dra Jadeja is a dan­ger­ous cus­tomer to deal with on spin­ner- friendly In­dian tracks. His five- for trig­gered on Satur­day a ma­jor col­lapse for New Zealand

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