Kedar Jadhav’s role in the Indian cricket team bears utmost significance given his consistency and love for batting in crunch situations. The middle order batsman offers plenty of cushion for Team India with his match-winning attributes. From being an able bowler, who can give you the wickets, to that of playing strongly with the bat, Jadhav is a captain’s delight.
Jadhav was superb once again in the first ODI against Australia in Hyderabad after guiding Indian to a sensational six-wicket win. The utility man chipped in with a sublime 87-ball 81, which was studded with nine boundaries and a six. He joined hands with veteran wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni and the pair stitched a match-winning 141-run stand.
India got to the score of 240 for four in 48.2 overs after the Aussies had managed 236/7 in 50 overs. Ahead of his mastery with the bat, Jadhav also performed well with the ball after figures of 1/31 in seven overs. Jadhav has repaid the faith the side has vested in him and he has given the feeling of being an able finisher.
With the ICC World Cup 2019 starting in England and Wales from May 30 onwards, Jadhav’s influence in the team will be immense. One can expect skipper Virat Kohli to continuously turn on to the player in terms of producing moments of magic with both bat and ball. Jadhav has grown to become an experienced customer and every now and then he has played innings of substance to help India win ODI matches.
What Jadhav has shown here is that the side can rely on his experience during tricky chases. In January, his 61* helped India get past the line. Back in 2017, his knocks of 120 and 90* against England, helped the side register stiff targets in the ODI series at home.
Jadhav is a player that excels in these type of situations. In the Asia Cup in 2018, his 23* helped India beat Bangladesh in the final. Once again India were chasing in that match. This is a strong sign of a player, who isn’t afraid to go out and express himself in these situations.
When you follow Jadhav’s ODI career trajectory, while batting first, the right-hander has only one 50+ score in 18 innings. But when it comes to chasing a match, he has six 50+ scores. The statistic puts weight to his credentials as a chaser. He is someone who is growing to become like a Dhoni or Kohli, who are known to be terrific while chasing down targets.
Jadhav’s role is more than just a part-time spinner. His attributes with the ball make him a vital bowler in this ODI side. One can expect the player to get crucial overs during the Cricket World Cup. He won’t be there just to fill in the numbers. Kohli will be tempted to give him decent amount of overs and bring that impact in the middle overs. Jadhav has a knack of getting key scalps and he is often a partnership breaker.