Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is proving himself as a trump card with the bat, playing yet another decisive knock for India in the first T20 international against Australia in Canberra. Ravindra Jadeja struck 44 off 23 balls on Friday as it proved crucial in India’s 11-run victory in Canberra, gifting them a 1-0 lead. It has lead Gautam Gambhir to back the southpaw to bat at number five in white-ball cricket.
Ravindra Jadeja continued his excellent form from the third ODI against Australia where he struck 66 off 50 balls to revive India’s innings which fell apart after 30 overs. The Saurashtra all-rounder shared a partnership of 150 with Hardik Pandya to lift India to 302 from a precarious 152-5. He also picked a wicket and took a magnificent catch as the visitors managed a consolation victory.
On Friday, he was once again in the scheme of things as India found themselves in trouble at 114-6 with three overs to go. However, the 31-year old provided the men in blue with a much-needed momentum, hammering five fours and a six in his 23-ball stay. He battled his hamstring to take India to a competitive total that they barely managed to defend.
Ravindra Jadeja batting at number five opens up another spot: Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir stated that India letting Ravindra Jadeja bat at number five enables KL Rahul to come at number four, Virat Kohli at number three, Pandya at number six, and slot in another all-rounder at number seven. The former Indian opener urges India to use Jadeja’s form and feels that if given a chance, he will think like it and it has always been the case with everyone.
“I would probably want him to bat at number five because then you can have KL Rahul bat at number four, Virat Kohli at number three and then Jadeja at five, Pandya at six, and you can have another all-rounder at number seven. Use his form. My point has always been very simple. If you make someone bat at number seven, he will bat like a number seven. If you make him bat like a number four or five, he will bat like it and that is how it has always been with everyone,” Gambhir told ESPN Cricinfo.
Gambhir feels that the 31-year old has the ability and has got the runs in all the conditions in white-ball cricket; hence, it is wise to push him up at number five, opening up one spot at the bottom. The 38-year old feels that by pushing him to number five, India has the luxury to play another left-arm spinner like Krunal Pandya or Axar Patel.
“You ask someone to open the batting and he starts thinking like an opener. Jadeja has got the ability. We all know that he has got the ability, he has a Test hundred, got runs in all conditions in white-ball cricket and why not push him at number five and see whether we can work with the combination because you open up one spot you can play a number six bowler who can chip in with overs. You can play another left-arm spinner like Krunal Pandya or Axar Patel,” the cricketer-turned-politician added.