Accuracy and speed make Jadeja lethal
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.
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