Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar highlighted the importance of Ravindra Jadeja in the ODI World Cup campaign for India, saying the all-rounder has become a much-improved cricketer in white-ball cricket too. Jadeja shone with the ball in India’s second Group A match against Nepal in Pallekele on Monday, September 4.
Ravindra Jadeja hasn’t played ODIs consistently in the recent past but he has been earmarked as a certain member of the ODI World Cup squad, which is likely to be announced on Tuesday, September 5.
Jadeja picked up 3 wickets in his first 8 overs, keeping the Nepal batters quiet after they got a good start with the bat in Pallekele. Nepal were 178 for 6 in 37.5 overs, thanks to Jadeja’s wickets in the middle overs. Jadeja had conceded just 35 runs and picked up 3 wickets in his first 8 overs. Jadeja flaunted his ability to finishing his overs quickly and he bowled with remarkable accuracy against the Asia Cup debutants. Jadeja got Bhim Sharki for 7, Nepal captain Rohit Paudel for 5, and Kushal Malla for 2.
Speaking to Star Sports, Manjrekar said Jadeja has been completing his quota of 10 overs quite often in the recent past and that shows his improvement with the ball.
“There is a very good chance, it’s almost a certainty that he will play all the Word Cup matches. India can’t do without him. Axar Patel will be there in the reserves but Jadeja will be the first-choice spin-bowling all-rounder. If the pitch is rough, if you have got a quality opposition, he will finish in 10 overs,” Manjrekar said.
Jadeja equaled Irfan Pathan in the list of Indian bowlers with the most wickets in the Asia Cup (ODI format) as he took his tally to a record-equalling 22.
While stressing that it’s unfair to compare Yuvraj Singh’s batting ability to that of Jadeja, Manjrekar said that the Chennai Super Kings star will be an integral member of the Indian World Cup side.
‘ WHITE-BALL CAREER CHANGED’
India relied on a spin-bowling all-rounder, Yuvraj Singh, to dominate opposition sides in their victorious 2011 World Cup campaign. Yuvraj had taken 352 runs and picked up 15 wickets in 9 matches in a sensational all-round effort.
“But the batting all-rounder we had in 2011, Yuvraj Singh. It’s not fair to compare his batting with Jadeja. So I see him more as a bowling all-rounder with somebody who can be a threat at No. 7 or No.8. His white-ball career has changed completely in the last few years.
“Earlier, he was a formidable Test bowler. In the early part of his one-day career, he wasn’t even completing his 10 overs. But in the last few seasons, you see him bowling his 10 overs. That’s a best indicator of how good a bowler you are. All you have to do is see how many times you bowl your 10 overs. That’s something that you get with Jadeja now. He is a much-improved white-bal cricketer, which he was not 3- years before that,” he said.
India are all set to announce their ODI World Cup 2023 provisional squad on Tuesday and Ravindra Jadeja will one of the first names in the sheet.