Perth: All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja could well be benched for India’s remaining two group matches in New Zealand, against Ireland (March 10) and Zimbabwe (March 14).
And this is not just because the defending champions will be playing against weaker teams or because they’ve already qualified for the quarter-finals, or because the windy conditions in NZ may not be conducive to spin. If India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s critical comments against the left-hander in yesterday’s post-match press conference are any indication, Jadeja could well receive a rap on the knuckles for his poor show with the bat at the WACA against the West Indies.
“I think he (Jadeja) needs to improve. He needs to step up really. We have a lot of faith in him, but at the end of the day, you can’t really play with hope. What you want is performance on the field,” said Dhoni.
“He’s definitely talented, but needs to keep believing in himself. Every batsman is tested in a few areas. They will bowl short-pitched deliveries to him and he will have to find a way to tackle it because every batsman tackles it in a different way,” he added.
In this tournament, Jadeja has scored three runs against Pakistan, two against South Africa and 13 yesterday.
With the Indian top order back in the pavilion cheaply, he came out to partner his skipper with the score reading 107-4, needing another 76 runs from 27.1 overs. The situation called for a patient approach which Dhoni applied. Instead, Jadeja tried to go after the bowling and almost edged a couple of drives en route the wicketkeeper. Finally, he perished trying to pull a climbing Andre Russell delivery, only top-edging it to Marlon Samuels at square leg in the bargain, leaving the team in a precarious situation at 134-6.
Jadeja's poor run
3 vs Pakistan (Feb 15)
2 vs South Africa (Feb 22)
DNB vs UAE (Feb 28)
13 vs WI (March 6)