Asia Cup 2018: Ravindra Jadeja bounces back in style to make a grand ODI comeback
Call it fate or whatever, one of the spinners - Axar Patel - got injured while fielding and was ruled out of the Asia Cup
Just 48 hours ago, Ravindra Jadeja was grinding away in domestic cricket, being out of favour with Team India in white-ball cricket for over a year. There seemed little chance of his making a comeback with three spinners already in Dubai for the Asia Cup. But, as they say, it's never over till it's finally over.
Call it fate or whatever, one of the spinners - Axar Patel - got injured while fielding and was ruled out of the Asia Cup. That opened the door for Jadeja and he was transported from the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Delhi to Dubai in a matter of hours. And by the next afternoon he was back to what he likes doing best - grabbing wickets for India.
For the Super Four match against Bangladesh yesterday, Jadeja was brought into the XI in place of Hardik Pandya, who was stretchered off during the last match against Pakistan after suffering a lower back strain. One would have thought Jadeja would find it tough to be at his best as he would not have been mentally prepared for such a quick transformation.
He began poorly, conceding 11 runs in his first three deliveries. But Shakib Al Hasan gave the left-arm spinner a boost by injudiciously sweeping him into the hands of Shikhar Dhawan at square-leg.
Thereafter, Jadeja was at his accurate best, tormenting the Bangladeshi batsmen no end and bagging four for 29 to put India in a commanding position. Jadeja last played an ODI for India in the Champions Trophy final at The Oval in London in July last year.
India lost that match badly and Jadeja was castigated for running out Pandya in a mix-up, when the latter was threatening to cut loose. Jadeja played only the fifth and final Test against England at The Oval and made a good all-round impression. Likewise, he needs to grab this opportunity with both hands and cement his place in the limited overs team.
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