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Ravindra Jadeja is an all-rounder and not a batsman says former coach Debu Mitra

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Among the many changes coach Anil Kumble has introduced with the team after taking over is the need for the lower order to understand their responsibility as batsmen and to score valuable runs for the team. They have been given dedicated batting slots in the nets and practice enough to value their wickets in the middle. The contribution from Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja the number 7 onwards batsmen has made a huge difference for the team at least in the ongoing series against England.

In the first inning of the Mohali Test when half of the team was back in the pavilion while they were still in the deficit; Ashwin, Jadeja and Jayant Yadav all three scored half centuries which was the first time No.7, 8 and 9 scored fifties for India in Tests to not only clear off the trail but also got them a lead which in the end, proved decisive. Jadeja, in particular, played an impactful knock as he not only scored the runs but did that in style.

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Being someone who has as many as three triple centuries in Ranji Trophy to his name Jadeja was always expected to come good with the bat. Talking about his former ward’s batting ability Jaddu’s Saurashtra coach Debu Mitra was quoted by HT as saying, “Jadeja is not a batsman. Scoring three Ranji triple centuries is a rare feat and Jadeja has showed he has that quality, but he is first and foremost an all-rounder, a complete package,”

While his contribution with the bat has been termed crucial by skipper Virat Kohli as well as coach Anil Kumble, Mitra feels that Jadeja has always been marked as a left-arm spinner and for him to keep his place has to pick wickets with his bowling. He will continue to be a part of the team if he gets them the wickets but doesn’t score the runs while won’t be the case if it’s the other way round. “From the start, he had been stamped a left-arm spinner. Even if Jadeja scores a century, will the team management persist with him if he doesn’t take any wickets? He knows he has to do everything — bowl, field and then score some runs if possible.”

The wickets in the subcontinent assist the spinners but despite that the bowler has to learn to be patient, not every ball can get you a wicket and the Rajput boy has learnt that in the last one year or so. “Earlier, he used to try out a lot of things in Ranji Trophy. Here he isn’t doing that. He is concentrating on pitching the ball in one area. That’s one of the reasons he is the most economical bowler,” said Mitra.

Irrespective of how effective he has been with the bat scoring runs, the former Saurashtra coach feels he Jadeja has changed his batting approach from what he had seen in domestic cricket. “His shot selection seems different in Tests. During Ranji he never used to flirt with a wide delivery. Here, I think he was a little frustrated with the negative bowling. I guess that shot (when he was out on 90) was more out of frustration,”

Jadeja was very close to registering his maiden century in international cricket but missed out as he played a false shot, he acknowledged that after the game and would certainly care more when he walks out to bat now on.

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