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India vs Sri Lanka: Spinners went from support to strike role, says Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja picked up three wickets on the first day of the second cricket Test against Sri Lanka in Nagpur on Friday.

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Nov 24, 2017 20:06 IST
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Hindustan Times, Nagpur
India vs Sri Lanka,Ravindra Jadeja,IND v SL
Indian bowler Ravindra Jadeja appeals for a wicket during the second cricket Test match against Sri Lanka in Nagpur on Friday.(PTI)

Spinners normally hate the opening day of a Test. They know there will be little purchase from the pitch for them. The day is reserved for the batsmen to dominate, and among bowlers, it’s a day for the pace bowlers. (Day 1 highlights | Scorecard)

Conditions at the Vidarbha Cricket Association stadium were no different. In fact, they were good for batting because even the seamers were not getting movement to trouble the batsmen.

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But it seems conditions don’t matter when you pitch R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja against the Islanders. In their last series against Sri Lanka, they had a combined tally of 30 wickets, wreaking havoc in their opponents’ backyard.

Maintaining their stranglehold on the Lankan batsmen, the two overcame the docile conditions to combine and run through the innings, sharing seven wickets.

Jadeja said the initial plan was to support the pacers. “Ashwin and I were trying to bowl in the good areas, trying to restrict them and not to give easy boundaries. We were just doing a supporting role as the fast bowlers were doing well in first session,” he told the media.

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The left-arm spinner who claimed three big wickets – Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella and Dilruwan Perera – said he was happy to just get the opportunity to bowl after hardly having any role in the Eden Gardens Test. “Yeah obviously, finally I was very happy how I was bowling today. I was bowling well as there was no help from the wicket.”

Explaining how effective spin partner Ashwin was bowling from around the wicket, claiming all his wickets from that angle, Jadeja said: “If there is nothing in the wicket for spinners, then it’s good to try something different. Over the wicket or around the wicket, just try and create chances.”

In the subcontinent conditions, the two have enjoyed a good partnership. But come the next series in South Africa, the two might be competing for a lone spinner’s slot, as there is limited role for spinners on the greener and bouncier tracks.

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“It depends on the team’s balance, what the team wants. At times on overseas tours, we assess if there are more lefties or right-handers in the opposition and accordingly the team’s composition is set,” Jadeja said.

“When I get a chance to play in SA, I will try to do well. When I got a chance last time, I played the second Test after Ash played the first. That’s why I said team combination will depend on the composition of the opposition.”

First Published: Nov 24, 2017 18:35 IST