India have taken full advantage of the unexpectedly dry pitches in England to suddenly become favourites in the Champions Trophy.
Before the commencement of the tournament, the customarily seaming wickets in England were seen as a major stumbling block for India, but the conditions have in fact been more conducive to spinners, allowing the Indian side to play to their strengths.
The dry wickets have allowed India to play to their strengths, which means including three seamers, Ravindra Jadeja as an all-rounder, and a top-six which includes the skipper himself.
And one player who has excelled in the current conditions is none other than Jadeja, who seems to have struck impressive form ever since the four-Test series against Australia.
The man from Rajkot took his maiden five-wicket haul on Tuesday against West Indies and was grateful that the pitches have offered spin and turn. When asked if he is surprised by the dry tracks, Jadeja said, “Yes, even in the warm-up matches, the pitches were slow and the ball was turning.”
The slowness of the wickets has allowed Jadeja to use his flight and his primary objective has been to pick up wickets rather than contain the run flow. He has been able to attack the batsmen and has proved to be a genuine wicket-taking bowler.
“My thinking has been to bowl slowly through the air as it makes it difficult to score runs on wickets like the one we had today,” explained Jadeja.
The Indian batsmen have also made merry on the very un-English like wickets. Rohit Sharma has prospered as an opener and Shikhar Dhawan continues to grow in his role.