IND vs ENG: Rajkot hero Ravindra Jadeja ready for added responsibility in India’s middle order

IND vs ENG: Rajkot hero Ravindra Jadeja ready for added responsibility in India's middle order

In the first two Tests of the ongoing five-match series against England, India has been forced to rely on emerging talents due to the absence of key players, in contrast to traditional selection riches and consistently dominant performances at home.

Now that the five-match Test series is tied at one, India will be traveling to Rajkot with their batting order further altered due to the absence of Shreyas Iyer and the fact that KL Rahul is still recovering from a quadriceps injury. Nonetheless, there is good news for the Indian team, which is struggling with injuries and form issues: all-round sensation Ravindra Jadeja has improved steadily in training despite missing the second Test due to a hamstring strain. Kusum Yadav, a fellow spinner, has confirmed that the Rajkot local will be accessible for the third Test against England

In a lengthy net session on Tuesday, Ravindra Jadeja looked assured as he batted and then rolled his arm over during India’s pre-match warm-up in Rajkot. The team management is expecting the senior pro to step up with the bat and take on a larger role, as evidenced by that intense batting session. From the sidelines, captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid were closely observing Jadeja’s time at the nets.

Remember, Jadeja is a seasoned Test player of ten years, and one of the main factors contributing to India’s success at the lower end of the bat in the last five years has been his batting prowess. Following some recent top-order failures, particularly away from home, Jadeja has been India’s crisis man. Still, India’s middle order needs someone of Jadeja’s caliber to step in, especially since Rahul hasn’t recovered fully from his injury and Virat Kohli decided not to play in the series.

Upon his ascent to prominence in Test cricket, Ravindra Jadeja personified the quintessential bowling all-round player, an unwavering force on favourable pitches. His skill with the ball was evident as he dismantled opposition hitters with ease, treating them like summertime pests. But he had trouble focusing for very long when batting. He liked to play, but he was easily distracted most of the time. Getting high scores in Test matches didn’t seem to come easily to him. Building an innings was as foreign to him as following someone on Instagram, even though he didn’t follow anyone there.

His highest score in 26 innings as a batsman in international cricket was 68. Additionally, he failed to average more than 22.5 with the bat in any of his first five seasons of playing Test cricket. After being removed from limited-overs matches, he would return to domestic cricket, make significant runs, and eventually rejoin the team. But for him, things took a turn in 2018. The Indian team thought he was capable of playing long innings defensively, so they expected more from him than just “fun fifties”.

The left-handed all-rounder proved to be a vital member of India’s lower order, scoring important runs under difficult circumstances. By the time his first ten years of Test cricket came to an end in 2022, he had amassed three fifties and a century in England alone. His batting ability became so great that, on foreign tours, India frequently used him as the only spinner, benching their best off-spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin.


Jadeja may benefit from the Rajkot pitch’s tendency to aid spin, which has been known to produce run-fests in the past. Given that the pitch isn’t expected to be a wild turner and might even have less bounce, Jadeja’s subtle knowledge of the home field advantages could be quite helpful. He is a serious contender to open India’s innings in the middle order due to his ability to modify his game to suit the conditions of the pitch.

Due to his versatility and experience, Jadeja is a strong contender to fill in for Rahul and Kohli when they are not available. His bat-and-ball skill and familiarity with the Rajkot pitch make him an ideal choice for the No. 4 or No. 5 batting slot, guaranteeing the team’s equilibrium and bolstering their middle order in challenging times

If Jadeja bats higher in the order, Sarfaraz Khan might have to wait longer to receive his first Test cap. If Jadeja can also bat in the middle order, India will have six bowling options for the Rajkot Test.

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