India vs England: Ravindra Jadeja is a dangerous cricketer, happy he only played last game - Paul Farbrace
In this series, Jadeja’s role had been limited to that of a substitute fielder until R Ashwin’s groin injury presented him with an opportunity in the The Oval Test. In the first three days, the all-rounder has taken five wickets and scored 86 not out to stamp his presence.Updated: Sep 10, 2018 09:10 IST
On India’s last tour of England in 2014, Ravindra Jadeja’s lone fifty and nine wickets in four Tests got lesser attention than a clash with James Anderson on the corridor leading to the Trent Bridge dressing rooms, which played out for most of the series.
In this series, Jadeja’s role had been limited to that of a substitute fielder until R Ashwin’s groin injury presented him with an opportunity in the The Oval Test. In the first three days, the all-rounder has taken five wickets and scored 86 not out to stamp his presence.
England are 154 runs ahead with eight second innings wickets in hand and India’s slim hopes of a consolation win could depend on Jadeja on a wearing pitch.
He followed his 4/79 in the England first innings by joining forces with debutant Hanuma Vihari (56) to revive India on Day 3. It showed India had missed a trick by not playing a second spinner in the fourth Test at Southampton where Moeen Ali’s nine wickets bowling off-spin proved decisive while India, playing an unfit Ashwin, lost by 60 runs in the end.
England assistant coach Paul Farbrace said the Jadeja-Vihari seventh wicket stand of 77 runs was frustrating on Sunday morning. “There was a chance dropped before that last partnership got going, but to be fair to Jadeja, he played magnificently well.
“He’s an exceptional cricketer, a dangerous cricketer – with bat, ball and in the field – we would probably be reasonably happy he’s only just played in this last game.
“He’s a fantastic cricketer and he showed that again today – dangerous with the ball, gets important wickets, brilliant in the field and a high-quality batter.”
COOK’S LAST STAND
Jadeja missed his maiden century after last man Jasprit Bumrah was run out, but England are hoping Alastair Cook gets one in his farewell innings after reaching 46 at stumps on Day 3. He will become only the fifth Test batsman to score a century on debut and last innings if he gets one.
“It’d be fantastic, wouldn’t it, if he was to get to a hundred?” he said. “I think he’s just enjoying milking all the applause he’s getting. It’s just driving him on to bat as long as he possibly can.
“He’s shown everything that he’s about so far in this game. He’s just got stuck in, and it’s not easy out there, but he looks as though he’s really enjoying the scrap.”
England’s batting has also struggled like India’s, but Cook dug in one last time and has raised the home team’s hopes to give him a winning farewell and end the series 4-1.
Farbrace said while England’s record run-getter’s scoring will be missed, his presence also keeps the dressing room calm.
“The calming influence he has among the team, the staff, everybody … is something we’ll all miss when he’s not in the dressing-room. He seems to have the respect of everybody, and everyone is very comfortable talking to him.
“He’s got a very down-to-earth way, that cheeky sense of humour – and people find themselves being drawn to him,” he said.