Gujarat Lions get Ravindra Jadeja boost before IPL tie vs Rising Pune Supergiant

Hindustan Times, Rajkot | By
Apr 14, 2017 11:38 AM IST

Ravindra Jadeja, who missed the first few matches of 2017 Indian Premier League due to issues with his spinning finger, is expected to play Gujarat Lions’ third game of the season vs Rising Pune Supergiant on Friday

Gujarat Lions’ hopes of registering their first win of IPL 10 are now heavily dependent on local lad Ravindra Jadeja.

Ravindra Jadeja is expected to play Gujarat Lions’ third game of 2017 Indian Premier League vs Rising Pune Supergiant on Friday.(Hindustan Times)
Ravindra Jadeja is expected to play Gujarat Lions’ third game of 2017 Indian Premier League vs Rising Pune Supergiant on Friday.(Hindustan Times)

The left-arm spinner is expected to return to action for Gujarat Lions’ second home game against Rising Pune Supergiant at the SCA Stadium here on Friday. (SCHEDULE | POINTS TALLY)

(Read | IPL 2017: Ravindra Jadeja can’t be replaced, says Gujarat Lions coach Brad Hodge)

Ravindra Jadeja was advised two weeks’ rest by the medical team of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after “issues with the spinning finger”. (RESULTS)

His return is set to boost GL’s bowling that has lacked depth and took a pounding in the first two matches. Kolkata Knight Riders beat them by 10 wickets and Sunrisers Hyderabad by nine wickets.

Ravindra Jadeja couldn’t have asked for a better opponent than Rising Pune Supergiant to start with as the left-arm spinner would cherish rekindling his battle against Rising Pune Supergiant skipper Steve Smith as well as Ben Stokes.

“We definitely haven’t bowled anything like we did last season. And I think Jadeja not being there has had a big effect in terms of balance of the team that we have been searching for. Definitely, without Jadeja and (Dwayne) Bravo, they were key for us and very experienced players who had a big influence, it was of concern. But we are looking forward to move on now with Jaddu coming back into the team and possibly Bravo coming back in the next week or so,” Gujarat Lions bowling coach Heath Streak said.

Jadeja, the world No 1 Test spinner, was a tormentor of visiting batsmen in the recent Test series against Australia and England.

Jadeja finished with 25 wickets against Australia in the four-Test series that helped him take the top spot in ICC rankings. He claimed the wicket of Smith, Australia’s most successful batsman on the tour, in the first three Tests. Jadeja was also vociferously sledged by the Aussies in the final Test at Dharamsala.

In the five-Test series against England which India won 4-0, Jadeja claimed 26 wickets, which included a five and 10-wicket haul.

The RPS skipper said Jadeja could be the solution for Gujarat Lions’ bowling woes.

“He is a quality player. He has been a good player in the IPL for a while now. Gujarat has struggled a bit in the bowling department and I am sure he is going to add to that. He is a very good bowler in T20 cricket,” said Smith.

It is not just with the ball that Gujarat Lions will gain from Jadeja’s return. His contribution with the bat lower down the order would also be crucial.

Jadeja finally lived up to his batting ability in the Test series against Australia and England. He slammed a couple of half-centuries against Australia and England, aggregating 127 and 224 respectively.

“He’s fit and ready to go and is training with us. Being a home boy in Rajkot, he is really looking forward to getting on the park and making the difference for Lions,” Streak said.

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