Anshuman Gaekwad, a former India batsman and a former coach, opines that Ravindra Jadeja “shouldn’t be left out at any cost” from India’s eleven against New Zealand in the World Test Championship final, starting June 18th at The Ageas Bowl.
With questions looming around India’s bowling combinations, Jadeja might face the axe if the management decides to go with Ravichandran Ashwin as the lone spinner.
Gaekwad, however, eulogizes on the fact that Jadeja is arguably the best all-rounder in the world – the southpaw is currently second on ICC Test all-rounder rankings. He says that the left-handed all-rounder is a “triple-plus” player, who offers excellent skills in all three departments.
“[Ravindra] Jadeja shouldn’t be left out at any cost. And why should he? He is such a huge asset to the team in all three departments. He is a triple-plus. And I don’t think that if three bowlers cannot do damage in English conditions, a fourth pacer will help. Three is good enough,” Gaekwad told Hindustan Times.
“And you need a spinner. Ashwin is a class spinner alright but with Jadeja in the team, he has to play. How many international teams have got quality left arm spinners? And here you have one, not only as a spinner but as a proven batsman and a brilliant fielder. What else do you want?” he questioned rhetorically.
New Zealand surely would carry an advantage: Anshuman Gaekwad
Gaekwad, who had also held the position of BCCI chief selector, feels that the Kiwis will go in the marquee clash with a slight advantage over Virat Kohli’s side. He asserted that New Zealand have had a better opportunity to acclimatised to the conditions, having won the 2-Test series versus England.
However, the 68-year-old also believes that the Indian players have travelled to England before and are experienced in those conditions. He also marvels over India’s recent series victories against Australia and England in the absence of the first-choice players.
“India should have had some match practice like New Zealand. They’ve already played two Test matches so they are well-versed with conditions. That’s an advantage they surely would carry.
“But at the same time, I won’t cut out India’s chances because they have played in England earlier and players know the conditions. But ultimately, knowing conditions isn’t everything. They have played enough cricket in England
“I still feel India’s recent record and attitude – the way they have won matches without main players in Australia and against England in India. They are high on confidence but hope it doesn’t turn into overconfidence,” the former batsman stated.