Team India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour has admitted that left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja will have a massive role to play on Day 5 of The Oval Test.
According to Rathour, although Jadeja went wicketless on Day 4, he bowled really well and created quite a few opportunities.
The 32-year-old spinner bowled 13 overs in England’s second innings on Sunday, conceding 28 runs. He got a few balls to jump from the rough but overall England’s openers were not troubled much by him.
Rathour, however, asserted that Jadeja will be utilized as a wicket-taking option on Day 5 of the Test.
“Jadeja will play a massive role on Day 5 of the Test. It will be a fifth day wicket and there is rough outside the left-handers’ off stump. He bowled really well today (Sunday). I thought he bowled with a lot of control.
“In the last 5-6 overs that he bowled, he did create a lot of opportunities. Tomorrow, with a little bit of luck, Jadeja can turn those opportunities into wickets. So yes, he is going to play a very important role on the last day,” said the batting coach.
Monday will be a massive test for Jadeja as well as the Indian management, which has picked him above Ravichandran Ashwin in all four matches so far.
“Wanted to see how Jadeja at No. 5 affects our balance and momentum” – Vikram Rathour
The left-hander batted at No. 5 in both innings of The Oval Test, coming ahead of Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant. According to Rathour, the change was made to try and have a left-right combination in the centre.
“The idea to play Ravindra Jadeja at No. 5 was to have a left-right combination, if we can bring it in. Earlier, both our left-handers were batting one after the other, at No. 6 and No. 7 (Pant and Jadeja). So, we wanted some gap between both the left-handers.
“It was a simple strategy as Jadeja had batted well previously. He was playing with a lot of control. As a team, we wanted to see how it affects our balance and momentum in the middle,” Rathour explained.
According to him, although Jadeja did not get big scores, the ploy worked to an extent.
“To some extent, it worked in both innings. He featured in a crucial partnership with Virat Kohli today (Sunday). Whether this will be a long-time move, we haven’t decided yet. We’ll take it as we go.”
Jadeja made 10 off 34 in the first innings and was dismissed for 17 off 59 in the second.
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