World Cup 2019: Kedar Jadhav becomes first Pune player to figure in WC team
In fact, this attacking batsman is the first Maharashtra player to be named in the Indian World Cup squad, if one discounts Munaf Patel, primarily a Mumbai cricketer who played for Maharashtra for a few seasons
There were quite a few contenders for the No. 4 and No. 5 slots in the Indian batting order ahead of the Indian team's selection for the World Cup 2019. But almost nobody doubted who would occupy the No. 6 slot. He might not be as impactful as the top three in the Indian batting line-up, but Pune lad Kedar Jadhav has made the No. 6 slot his own, for more than one reason.
Jadhav creates history
Jadhav yesterday became the first Pune player to make the Indian World Cup squad. In fact, this attacking batsman is the first Maharashtra player to be named in the Indian World Cup squad, if one discounts Munaf Patel, primarily a Mumbai cricketer who played for Maharashtra for a few seasons.
For someone who has played 59 ODIs for the Indian team in the past five years, an average of 43.48 with a strike rate over 100 is quite acceptable. Considering that the top-three have done bulk of the scoring in most of these games, one understands the importance of Jadhav's role in that unit. And we haven't even started discussing about his bowling yet.
Brimming with confidence
One thing that has stood out about Jadhav, 34, is his supreme confidence in his ability. It has been quite evident right since his first game for his Ranji side Maharashtra. This writer remembers his debut game against a Delhi side led by Virender Sehwag, where Jadhav was one of Parwinder Awana's hat-trick victims.
Back in the dressing room, the then chairman of selectors for Maharashtra, a stalwart in his own right, tore into his batsmen for failing to handle Awana and Co. And while all the seniors took the bashing quietly, Jadhav had his defence ready.
"I don't think that ball was hitting stumps," he responded to being out LBW to Awana. Not that it made a difference to the fuming stalwart, it gave a glimpse of Jadhav's confidence, as a person. And it's his confidence that has seen Jadhav become an automatic selection in the Indian playing XI, for most part of the past four years. It's his strong belief in his own ability that has earned Jadhav 27 ODI wickets with his own style of off-spin. Provided he remains fit, Jadhav would most probably become the first Maharashtra player to play in a World Cup game on June 5, against South Africa.
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