Indian cricket team has been plagued with injuries in the ongoing India tour of Australia as one after the other the visiting players are suffering from injuries and are returning back to India mid-way. The new addition to this is veteran spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. The Men in Blue received a massive blow ahead of the last Test against Australia, starting from January 15 in Brisbane, as Jadeja has been ruled out of the remainder of the Border Gavaskar Trophy.
The all-rounder suffered a blow to his left thumb while batting on Day 3 of the third Test at SCG that concluded on Monday and resulted in a draw. Ravindra Jadeja’s scan reports showed that he has dislocated his thumb and will need to undergo rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru for further management of his injury. He also underwent an operation in Sydney on Tuesday.
Moreover, reports also suggest that Jadeja had injured himself badly and can be out of action for as long as February 20 or even further. This means that the 32-year-old can sit out for atleast the first two Test matches of the four-match Test series against England, starting from February 5 at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
He is a vital cog in India’s line-up in the purest format of the game as he has the ability to be a match-winner both with the willow and the ball. The absence of Ravindra Jadeja also opens the doors of opportunities for the other players who are looking forward to proving their credentials as a Test player.
Shahbaz Nadeem is a left-arm orthodox bowler from Bihar. He is termed as one of the country’s most promising spinners currently. Nadeem has impressive statistics in first-class cricket so far, scalping 443 wickets at an economy rate of 2.70 in 117 matches. Nadeem also had made his debut in Test in 2019 against South Africa and in his maiden appearance, the spinner bagged four wickets across two innings. The absence of Jadeja can bring a big opportunity for Nadeem.
Hardik Pandya can surely be among the 3 Players who can replace Ravindra Jadeja for the England-Test series. This all-rounder has already earned fame for his swashbuckling ability to strike the ball with the willow, eye-catching fielding, and effective bowling. The Baroda-born all-rounder can single-handedly win matches for India. Hardik who has scored 1351 runs in 29 first-class matches and scalped 48 wickets, made his debut in Test against Sri Lanka in 2017 but failed to solidify his place in the playing eleven.
He has managed only 528 runs in 11 Tests at an average of 31.29 including one century and four fifties and scalped 17 wickets. Hardik is not currently bowling following his back surgery but he might not be the exact replacement of Jadeja as Hardik is a right-arm medium pacer. So even if Hardik becomes fit India may require him as a specialist batsman.
Kuldeep Yadav is one of the foremost contenders among the 3 Players who can replace Ravindra Jadeja for the England-Test series.
He is a rare breed of Chinaman bowler in modern-day cricket. Out of the players, mentioned above, Kuldeep has the best performance in the purest format of the game. Interestingly, Kuldeep started as a fast bowler when he joined an academy at Kanpur. Following a suggestion from his academy coach Kapil Pandey, Kuldeep started bowling wrist spin. But it did not become an easy affair for the 26-year old spinner. Kuldeep had admitted that he had to go through relentless hard work to learn and then become proficient in wrist spin. H first drew attention in the under-19 World Cup in Dubai, scalping a hat-trick against Scotland after a wicket-less first match against Pakistan.
Kuldeep Yadav was also included in the Test squad for India last tour to Australia but he had to sit on the bench due to India's two leading spinners, Ravindra Jadeja and R. Ashwin. Kuldeep has so far played in only six Tests but has been able to manage 24 wickets at an economy rate of 3.51. Kuldeep has also been effective with the willow as a night-watchman and he has scored 51 runs also.
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