A batsman, wicketkeeper and now a bowler, Kedar Jadhav is lapping up everything that has been thrown his way in his short career of nine ODIs. Maharashtra skipper Jadhav, 31, fulfils the duty of wicketkeeper-batsman for IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore.
And here in the current ODI series against New Zealand, skipper MS Dhoni has called upon the middle-order batsman to roll his arm over. Not backing out of a challenge, Jadhav has delivered the goods.
His off-spin in the first match in Dharamsala caught the Kiwis off-guard. It fetched Jadhav the wickets of James Neesham and Mitchell Santner off successive balls to peg back the opposition. In Delhi, he took one wicket for 11.
Once again in Mohali, Jadhav was brought on when the Kiwis were coasting at 73 for 1 in 12 overs.
His impact was immediate as he trapped the Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson plumb in front of the wicket. Williamson, centurion in the Delhi ODI win who had until then accumulated 22 runs, played across the line and Jadhav fooled him by bowling a straighter one.
Seventeen overs later, Jadhav was brought back into the attack and this time accounted for the aggressive Corey Anderson, who while trying to dispatch a full toss could only find Ajinkya Rahane at covers. After accounting for two big guns, Jadhav’s third was an equally big wicket. He had Tom Latham, the Kiwis’ best batsman on this tour, caught by Hardik Pandya.
Post match a beaming Jadhav couldn’t have believed his luck. Clearly, Amit Mishra had been the better bowler, inducing two stumpings off gem of deliveries. But Jadhav will go into the records with three wickets against his name, taking his series tally to six wickets.
“I guess my action and the height at which I bowl makes it difficult for the batsman. I also change my pace. We don’t have an off-spinner in the side (Maharashtra). So, whenever there is a left-hander batting, I am the one who takes the responsibility. I want to be good in everything and I am getting better.”