It came as quite a bummer for the Indian fans all around the world when Ravindra Jadeja came in to bat ahead of Ajnikya Rahane on Day 1 of the ongoing fourth test between India and England. India had already lost 3 wickets at that time and were in a crucial situation. Therefore, the uncalled for risk that captain Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri took by promoting Ravindra Jadeja ahead of Rahane was not understood by many. Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, who was commentating due to the match thus took the pains of explaining why this decision might have been taken.
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Explaining the rare sight of Jadeja coming in ahead of Rahane, Sunil Gavaskar said, “I think it’s because of the left-right combination to disturb the line and length of the bowlers. Jadeja has shaped well and he batted for long hours and scored runs. Pant has been inconsistent so far in the series. But, I am not sure why Rahane wasn’t sent up the order. Looked to me like he wasn’t ready as shown in the pictures.”
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This was only the third time that Ravindra Jadeja came in to bat at no.5 or higher in a test match. He earlier did it against Australia in 2017 and against South Africa in 2019. On both the occasions, the matches were being played in India. It is thus the first time that Ravindra Jadeja came in to bat at no.5 or higher in a Test match outside India. A strange and rare event indeed.
However, Ravindra Jadeja’s time on the field today was limited. He departed at just 10 runs after playing 34 runs and was outclassed by Chris Woakes.