Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

Home > Features >

India tour of South Africa 2013: Should India play a specialist batsman instead of Ravindra Jadeja?

Ravindra Jadeja hasn't yet proved his worth as a batsman in Test cricket © IANS (File Photo)
Ravindra Jadeja hasn’t yet proved his worth as a batsman in Test cricket © IANS (File Photo)

 

Ravindra Jadeja is set to bat at No 7 being the all-rounder in the side. It is mainly his bowling that gets him into the Test side, as his batting is yet to be tested in the arena. Nishad Pai Vaidya looks at the records and determines whether India are better off playing a more specialist batsman instead of the all-rounder.

 

Should India play the all-rounder or the extra batsman? With Dale Steyn and Co. steaming in, there is a case to play a specialist batsman instead of Ravindra Jadeja to strengthen the batting line-up. During the recently concluded One-Day International (ODI) series, the batting was put to serious test and with the practice game washed out; there is a mountain that lies ahead. Jadeja has occupied the No 7 spot when fit and he is likely to play at that spot, but should India consider playing an Ajinkya Rahane or Ambati Rayudu at No 6 with Mahendra Singh Dhoni coming in at No 7?

 

So far, Jadeja hasn’t had too many opportunities to shine with the bat in Test cricket. His only innings of note is a 43 against Australia at Delhi. India have batted so well that they haven’t required his services too many times at No 7. With him coming in to the line-up, Dhoni jumped one spot ahead. As Jadeja missed the Test series against West Indies, Rohit Sharma could come into the side and settled himself with two tons. Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement means there is one more spot vacant and that allows Jadeja back into the side.

 

However, the whole point of Jadeja being in the side is based on his all-round abilities. His left-arm orthodox is an ideal foil to Ravichandran Ashwin’s off-spin, and India has the fifth bowler to take the burden off the four frontline options. They can play three seamers with Ashwin and Jadeja handling the spinning duties. But, how much has spin played a part in South Africa? After all, it is a land that is known to support the pacers:

 

Here is a break-up of the wickets taken by pace and spin bowlers in South Africa since the Proteas returned to Test cricket in 1992:

M

W

Ave

5WI

10WM

BBI

BBM

SR

Pace

105

2591

29.19

105

13

7/29

12/139

58.0

Spin

105

596

37.79

17

2

7/120

11/169

79.8

 

 

It is clear from this table that spin hasn’t been a very effective force in South Africa. The gulf between the two types of bowlers is very evident from this table. The spinners have taken less than 20 per cent of the wickets to fall in South Africa since 1992, and this is proof of a preference for the seamers there. That brings the question: Is there any merit in playing Jadeja at No 7 mainly because of his bowling? Wouldn’t India be better of playing a more specialist batsman instead?

 

For starters, Jadeja does give more options and is a cushion. On the other hand, Rahane or a Rayudu may actually strengthen the batting line-up as they are superior batsmen. Dhoni can now come down at No 7, with either of these men coming at No 6. It looks unlikely though as Rahane is only one Test old and Rayudu is yet to don his Test cap. Playing them may actually be a big risk at this stage. Jadeja may get the nod after all, as he does have the team management’s confidence.

 

Perhaps, this is the time Jadeja, the Test batsman would face his real battle. Time for him to stand up with the willow.

 

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

 

 South Africa vs India — Live on Ten Cricket

 

 

Catch online live streaming of India vs South Africa ODI series here

 

 

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 27, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Sharjah

More

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 24, 2014  at Sharjah

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 2 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 23, 2014  at Dubai

Chennai Super Kings won by 7 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 22, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 72 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 21, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Chennai Super Kings won by 93 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 20, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

Photos

CSK vs DD, IPL 2014 Match 8 at Abu Dhabi

Videos

IPL: Tanmay Mishra talks shows the contents of his kit

Barry Shepherd: Nine Tests, only to pursue an alternative career

IPL 2014: Chennai Super Kings have surprisingly strong Indian pace attack

Sachin Tendulkar — One of the hardest terms to optimise for any SEO professional

Sachin Tendulkar: A timeless fairytale

Sachin Tendulkar: The child, the father, but sexy? Not quite

Chennai Super Kings Delhi Daredevils Glenn Maxwell India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kings XI Punjab Kolkata Knight Riders MS Dhoni Rajasthan Royals RCB vs KKR RCB vs KKR 2014 Royal Challengers Bangalore Sunrisers Hyderabad

Chennai Super Kings will be hard to beat once at their peak, says Faf du Plessis

Inzamam-ul Haq backs Waqar Younis to take over as Pakistan coach

IPL 2014: Gautam Gambhir hails ‘incredible win’ against Royal Challengers Bangalore

Sachin Tendulkar’s birthday: Adam Gilchrist has a dig at Shane Warne

Moin Khan hints at change of captain for Pakistan’s ODI side

Roy Marshall: The Hampshire giant who kept English cricket alive in their dullest days

Andy Whittall: The man who made his Test debut without playing domestic cricket at home

Barry Shepherd: Nine Tests, only to pursue an alternative career

IPL 2014: Chennai Super Kings have surprisingly strong Indian pace attack

Sachin Tendulkar given out off a wrong replay on his birthday in IPL 2011

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

622 Posts | 7 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli's 77 during India vs Sri Lanka ICC World T20 2014 final at Dhaka

Inzamam-ul Haq backs Waqar Younis to take over as Pakistan coach

Awesome threesome: Meet the world’s only wedded female threesome!

Andy Whittall: The man who made his Test debut without playing domestic cricket

Kangana Ranaut: I have three toy boys!

Lok Sabha Elections 2014: Top 5 news on BJP you must read on April 25

Samsung to offer over $1 million in prizes for smartwatch apps

Toshiba launches pocket-sized wireless hard drive

Revolver Rani quick movie review: Kangana Ranaut impresses yet again!

Also on cricketcountry.com