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India vs West Indies: After high in Tests, Ravindra Jadeja finds the going tough

Ravindra Jadeja has been struggling with both bat and ball in the shorter formats of the game recently but team coach Sanjay Bangar has recently defended the all-rounder.

india vs west indies 2017 Updated: Jul 04, 2017 23:25 IST
Hindustan Times, Kingston
India vs West Indies,India national cricket team,Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja hasn’t been at his best in ODI cricket lately, despite shining in the Test series’ at home last season. (AFP)

Since the Champions Trophy, where his ordinary bowling was compounded with a mix-up that caused the run out in the final of Hardik Pandya, the lone bright spot for India with the bat in that loss to Pakistan, Ravindra Jadeja has held low profile. The buzz seems to be missing.

In the last six ODIs, including Sunday’s fourth game loss in Antigua, he has picked just four wickets, going for over 5.7 an over. The runs per over isn’t bad but the fact that he was handled with ease by Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and by West Indies on Sunday is a worry.

Jadeja played his first ODI of the series on Sunday at North Sound in Antigua but couldn’t pick a wicket on a day all the other bowlers were among the wickets.

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Later, when just a run-a-ball was needed, Jadeja threw his wicket away, holing out to long on.

However, team coach Sanjay Bangar says he doesn’t deserve harsh criticism.

“Jaddu and Hardik got out at crucial points, when it was run-a-ball. They erred on shot selection,” he said.

Bangar feels Jadeja is a victim of circumstances.

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“He (Jadeja) has already done really well in the Test format. You saw that in the last season. He produced match-winning performances in Dharamsala and Mohali. He produced some really brilliant innings for the team,” he said.

“But as far as ODI cricket is concerned, he bats down the order and I feel those are certain things that get magnified because it’s not that only the lower order should contribute. It’s also about what we did early on in the innings. So, let’s not be too harsh on Jadeja.”

Jadeja’s strength in Tests has been making use of worn out wickets and darting the ball in to the batsmen. He always bowls straight and is accurate, troubling the batsmen as he makes them play at every delivery.

However, in ODIs, on wickets offering no help for spinners, he has struggled of late.

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On Sunday, he returned 0/48 as the other bowlers made merry. West Indies were shot out for 189.

But Bangar says too much shouldn’t be read into it.

“Today he ended up conceding (almost) 5 runs an over. He bowled with the wind while the other spinners were bowling against the wind. At times we are not going to churn out performances,” he added.

First Published: Jul 04, 2017 20:14 IST