Australia vs India: Ravindra Jadeja hits a shot during the second Test match.© AFP
Ravindra Jadeja is certainly good enough as a specialist batsman in Test cricket but it is his pure all-round skills that gives the Indian team much-needed balance in the traditional format, feels head coach Ravi Shastri. Jadeja’s contribution in India’s eight-wicket victory against Australia at the MCG on Tuesday can’t be ignored as he scored an important half-century, picked three wickets and also took two catches in his 50th Test. Asked if India could look at Jadeja as a pure batsman, Shastri said: “He is a genuine all-rounder and that’s why he bats where he is. He can bat at No.6 or even No.5, on given occasions but is a genuine all-rounder. That’s why he lends a lot of balance to the side.”
For someone who has 216 Test wickets apart from 1926 runs, Jadeja’s restrictive left-arm spin and ability to quickly get through his overs gives respite to the team’s fast bowlers.
“Also when we play overseas, there is a chance of one of the (fast) bowlers getting injured. You saw with Umesh (Yadav),” said Shastri, referring to the bowler, who is set to miss the next Test due to a calf muscle injury.
“With Jadeja, you get that balance and also the fast bowlers get a respite with both Jaddu and Ash (R Ashwin) bowling.”
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