Virender Sehwag feels Ravindra Jadeja is yet to perform to his full potential at international level.
Jadeja was preferred ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin as the sole Indian spinner for the first Test against England, more for his batting prowess. The southpaw did not let the team down, playing a 56-run knock that helped Team India take the first-innings lead.
While reviewing the first Test on Sony Sports, Virender Sehwag lauded Ravindra Jadeja for emerging as one of the most prominent bowlers for Team India. However, he added that the all-rounder can do a lot more with the bat than he has already done. He said:
“Now Ravindra Jadeja is a main bowler, left-arm spinner for India, and his contribution with the bat. He has not yet realized his potential but it has been magnificent.”
Sehwag recalled that Ravindra Jadeja was included in the Indian Test team to beef up the batting and provide some relief for the bowlers. The former Indian batsman elaborated:
“I still remember when Ravindra Jadeja had come for the first time, I was the vice-captain that time, our mindset was to get a bowler who bats as well and gives a break to our main bowlers. He came with that thinking.”
Ravindra Jadeja made his Test debut in 2012 against England. He was chosen as the fourth spinner in that encounter, with Ravichandran Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha and Piyush Chawla already in the playing XI.
“Ravindra Jadeja is an important player of this team” – Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag pointed out that Ravindra Jadeja plays a pivotal role in the Indian team with both bat and ball. He explained:
“Ravindra Jadeja is an important player of this team, especially when we talk about Test match cricket because firstly, he bowls 25-30 overs and secondly, he comes and bats at No.7 or No.8. When batsmen get out, he scores the crucial runs.”
The 42-year-old signed off by stating that Ravindra Jadeja had played a significant role in Team India taking a first-innings lead in the Trent Bridge Test. Sehwag observed:
“He scored 56 runs in this Test match, they were crucial runs. Probably, because of his 56 runs only India got the lead and went ahead of England.”
Ravindra Jadeja walked into bat with India reeling at 145/5, still trailing the hosts by 38 runs. He stitched together useful partnerships with KL Rahul and Mohammed Shami to help India take a vital first-innings lead of 95 runs.