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Ravindra Jadeja’s lean patch hurting Gujarat Lions’ cause in 2017 IPL

Ravindra Jadeja has been struggling to give a top-notch performance for Gujarat Lions in the 2017 Indian Premier League. The GL are seventh in the points table.

ipl 2017 Updated: Apr 24, 2017 16:46 IST
Rajesh Pansare
Rajesh Pansare
Hindustan Times, Rajkot
Ravindra Jadeja,IPL 2017,Gujarat Lions
Ravindra Jadeja has taken two wickets for Gujarat Lions in five matches in the 2017 Indian Premier League.(BCCI)

Gujarat Lions are jostling with many issues at the moment, but their main one remains the form of Ravindra Jadeja, who is yet to come to the party in the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL).

Th Suresh Raina-led Gujarat Lions are seven matches into the tournament but the India all-rounder hasn’t had a notable performance to boast of. It has come as a surprise to many that Jadeja has not been able to make an impact, especially after his tremendous effort for India throughout the international season.

Read | IPL 2017: Miffed Jason Roy may not return for Gujarat Lions

What’s hurting Gujarat Lions the most is his below-par efforts with the ball. For a team that’s struggling in the bowling department, Gujarat can’t afford to have their ace spinner failing to take wickets or keep the scoring down.

Poor show with the ball

In the five matches Jadeja has featured in, he has taken just two wickets at a strike rate of 60 while his economy rate in 9.70. Those are ordinary figures compared to his IPL career numbers of 23 and 7.76 respectively.

Gujarat Lions coach Brad Hodge feels that it’s just a matter of time before Jadeja comes good. “Look, he hasn’t fired for us as yet but he is a huge player for us. We certainly need him up and firing with bat, ball and in the field. I think he’ll step up to the plate for sure,” said Hodge.

Read | Injured Dwayne Bravo out of Gujarat Lions’ 2017 IPL campaign

The question is when? Gujarat Lions are currently second-last in the standings with four points and with just seven matches to play, they need something special from the entire squad to make it to the playoffs.

Tiring Australia series

Former Australian batsman Hodge said that the Australia series was a draining experience mentally for all, including Jadeja, and that he is still finding his feet in this edition of IPL. “He has had a huge couple of months for India and he’s performed as best as anyone could ever perform. To move from that tournament into this tournament straightaway is difficult mentally,” said Hodge.

Read | Gujarat Lions’ Suresh Raina makes light of Jadeja’s absence in IPL 2017 T20

He added: “He’s a good T20 player but we certainly need a little bit more from other senior players on such days when you need someone to stand up and bring you home.”

Jadeja had an opportunity to step up to the plate against the Kings XI Punjab on Sunday but his returns were ordinary compared to the efforts put in by his opposite numbers -- Axar Patel and KC Cariappa.

Batting woes

While he was decent with the ball, accounting for Glenn Maxwell, skipper Suresh Raina would have expected him to do much more than that. While batting, he wasn’t able to open up his shoulders when Gujarat Lions need it the most, scoring just nine before heading back to the pavilion.

Jadeja made a career out of IPL with match-winning performances – first for Rajasthan Royals and then Chennai Super Kings. Gujarat Lions will hope he comes good for them as well -- sooner rather than later.

JADEJA THIS SEASON - vs Rising Pune Supergiant (1/40, didn’t bat), vs Mumbai Indians (0/34, didn’t bat), vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (0/57, 22-ball 23), vs Kolkata Knight Riders (0/31, 13-ball 19*), vs Kings XI Punjab (1/32, 7-ball 9)

First Published: Apr 24, 2017 16:46 IST