Jadeja should now start scoring runs to seal his place: Contractor
Ravindra Jadeja was once again an unlikely hero amongst spinners to shine against Australia in the third Test at the Punjab Cricket Association's Stadium in Mohali yesterday.
The left-arm tweaker claimed three for 56, including the big wicket of Australian skipper Michael Clarke for nought, even as specialist spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha managed to grab just one wicket each. Ishant Sharma’s late burst helped the hosts reduce Australia to 273 for seven at stumps on Day Two. Jadeja has now grabbed three wickets in each of his last four innings. In just four Tests, he has 17 wickets under his belt.
Jadeja’s performances with the ball and athletic efforts on the field have had such an effect that the team think-tank had to retain him in the playing XI despite having three specialist spinners in the squad. However, Jadeja’s one-time coach Nari Contractor now wants the Saurashtra lad to get some runs that will help
him seal his place in the Test team.
“I am very happy with the way he is bowling, but I’m a bit disappointed about his batting. He has been selected in the team as a batting-all-rounder, but he has not got enough runs. “He needs to work on it and quickly figure out his weakness. It is not that he is a poor batter — he has scored three triple centuries in first-class cricket. Once he starts getting runs consistently, Jadeja will automatically seal his place in the Test team,” Contractor told MiD DAY yesterday. In the ongoing series, Jadeja has scored 16 and 10 in the Chennai and Hyderabad Tests respectively.
Yesterday, Jadeja was instrumental in breaking the dangerous opening partnership of 139 between David Warner (71) and Ed Cowan (86). Warner was done in by the extra bounce, getting an inside edge for an easy catch to wicketkeeper MS Dhoni, who had to run down the pitch to take it.
Next ball, Jadeja foxed Clarke for zero — his first in Tests after becoming captain. The Australian skipper looked absolutely clueless after dragging himself out of the crease only to be stumped by quicksilver Dhoni.
Jadeja later came back to trap Peter Siddle (0) leg before which was the last wicket to fall on the day. “Jadeja is growing and developing everyday. He is getting taller and stronger. He has more strength now. These factors are helping him in his bowling. “With constant practice, he has developed his accuracy. He is realising his potential,” said Contractor, who coached Jadeja during an U-14 camp at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) several years ago.