Melbourne Test: Isn't is risky to play Ravindra Jadeja? Ravi Shastri contradicts himself

Updated: Dec 24, 2018, 16:15 IST | Debasish Datta

In trying to dispel mounting criticism over team selection, coach Ravi Shastri contradicts himself, and captain Virat Kohli, about left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja's place in the squad

Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri

The team that were favourites to clinch the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy are now tackling some serious fitness issues. That didn't stop India's head coach Ravi Shastri from shooting from the lip in a Melbourne Test build-up press conference where he said that Ravindra Jadeja was suffering from a stiff shoulder for which he took an injection four days into the Australia tour.

Shastri said the team management didn't want to risk Jadeja, who "was 70 per cent to 80 per cent fit", for the second Test in Perth, but he also said the spinner will be part of the playing XI in Melbourne if he is even 80 per cent fit.

Under scanner: Ravindra Jadeja carrying shoulder stiffness from India, indicates Ravi Shastri

Question is, isn't it a risk now as well to play Ravindra Jadeja? It can be recalled that Virat Kohli after the Perth loss, said that the think-tank did not consider a spinner.

Ravindra Jadeja, who Shastri said had a stiff shoulder in Perth, was often seen on the field as a substitute fielder
Ravindra Jadeja, who Shastri said had a stiff shoulder in Perth, was often seen on the field as a substitute fielder

The fitness of chief spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who is enduring abdominal strain, will be monitored over the next 48 hours. India will be fortunate if he recovers on time to stay in the touring party. India are already without Prithvi Shaw, whose ankle injury ruled him out of his first overseas Test series.

PTI adds: The BCCI yesterday clarified that Jadeja was indeed fit for the ongoing Test series and his shoulder injury flared only after landing in Australia. Jadeja was included in the 13-member squad for the Perth Test but has not played since and according to the BCCI, he lacked "required intensity" while bowling during the net sessions.

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