As Team India look to bounce back after the humiliating defeat in Adelaide, the team-management is keenly monitoring allrounder Ravindra Jadeja’s progress. Team India will return to action for the second Test against Australia on December 26 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. And if Ravindra Jadeja recovers fully, he is likely to be a part of the playing eleven.
The star allrounder is currently sidelined due to the injury he had sustained while batting in the first T20I against Australia earlier this month. He was hit on the head and suffered a concussion in addition to picking up a hamstring injury. According to a report in PTI, Ravindra Jadeja is likely to replace Hanuma Vihari in the playing eleven for the second Test if he recovers in time.
Ravindra Jadeja has made good progress over the last few days and also returned to the nets when Team India were playing the first Test in Adelaide. The report stated that the star player is recovering well but it can’t be said with certainty that he will be 100 per cent fit for the crucial second Test. But if fit, the axe will fall on Vihari, not because of his low scores in the Adelaide Test but purely based on the best combination that Ajinkya Rahane and Ravi Shastri can put on the field.
“If Jadeja gets fit to bowl long spells, then there is no debate at all. Jadeja replaces Vihari on the basis of his all-round skills. Also it gives us an option to play five bowlers at the MCG,” a senior BCCI source told PTI.
Ravindra Jadeja’s record with the bat:
Ravindra Jadeja has been in stunning form with the bat while his record as a bowler is well known. He has 1869 runs in 49 Tests at an average of 35 plus which includes a hundred and 14 fifties. He has scored half centuries in both England Australia on previous tours. On the other hand, Vihari, in his 10 Tests, has scored 576 runs with a hundred against West Indies and four half-centuries at an average of 33 plus.
There is a school of thought that if pure batting skills are taken into account, then there is not much of a difference between “specialist Vihari” and “allrounder Jadeja”. With Mohammed Shami out of the series, India are likely to go with five specialist bowlers which has tilted the balance in Jadeja’s favour.