Home > Features >

Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja can unleash their potential in swapped roles

Ravichandran Ashwin has done better with the bat in the ongoing ODI series against New Zealand © Getty Images
Ravichandran Ashwin has done better with the bat in the ongoing ODI series against New Zealand © Getty Images

Ravichandran Ashwin came in as a fine off-spinner and Ravindra Jadeja made an entry as the ideal batting all-rounder. Few matches down the line, the roles have been unintentionally swapped and there is a strong case for a strategy rethinking to do for India to extract optimum talent. Abhijit Banare explains why it makes sense in considering Ashwin as the ideal batting all-rounder in ODIs and the other way round for Jadeja.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were in the thick of action in the tied third One-Day International (ODI) against New Zealand for their batting performances. The all-rounder’s slot has for long been a slot of identity crisis for India. With that slot being a vital aspect especially in limited overs format, India haven’t managed to work it out and have depended upon how the performances have unfolded. Ashwin has long been criticised for his dry run with wickets while Jadeja has been criticised for the lack of runs. Perhaps this issue could be dealt with if Ashwin is given more importance for his bowling and Jadeja more for his bowling. Following are some of the arguments on the same:

a) Ashwin has a stronger batting technique

The only thing you could dislike about Ashwin’s batting is that he walks out at No 8. But that way he goes about playing his innings is a delightful watch. The gracious flick with perfect timing fills the void of watching that famous VVS Laxman flick from outside the off-stump. And Ashwin is adept at facing a delivery which many of his fellow players have miserably failed to deal with — THE SHORT BALL! Ashwin has also looked extremely comfortable against the short ball rolling his wrists over it the way Dhoni does, and the best aspect about his batting is that he has plenty of time to play his shots even against the fastest of deliveries.

In comparison, Jadeja has been caught prodding at away going deliveries on many occasions. Jadeja can loft the ball at will and is a high-risk player. In comparison, Ashwin is a much stable batsman and one can rely on him occupying the crease and keep the runs coming in singles and twos. Though Jadeja has managed to score back-to-back half-centuries, Ashwin could still be a good option higher up the order, which they did use in the fourth ODI.

b) Jadeja’s pace and line are better than Ashwin’s finger variations

Ashwin is a finger spinner who relies on foxing the batsman with his turn, whereas Jadeja depends a lot on mixing the pace of his deliveries and luring the batsman submission. While both these strategies have been successful at home, Ashwin’s variations (especially the carrom ball) have been blunted overseas whereas Jadeja has continued to find success with his change of pace.

Ravindra Jadeja (above) has taken more wickets than Ravichandran Ashwin in the current ODI series against New Zealand © Getty Images
Ravindra Jadeja (above) has taken more wickets than Ravichandran Ashwin in the current ODI series against New Zealand © Getty Images

c) Jadeja isn’t perceived to be a wicket-taking bowler

Many opposition teams look forward to tackling Ashwin, who has been MS Dhoni‘s trump card in limited overs. On the other hand, it’s Jadeja who creates more wicket-taking opportunities by tying down the batsmen with his deliveries that are darted in and suffocate the batsmen. In contrast, the batsmen like to take their chances against Ashwin more than Jadeja. As mentioned earlier Jadeja who relies more on the pace than turn is much more effective on featherbeds where the wickets don’t offer much.

d) Temperament

Here’s another distinguishing factor. Jadeja, who is time and again associated with three triple centuries when he comes out to bat, has a poor temperament. There have been a few situations where he has failed to play according to the situation, the most recent example being the second Test against South Africa where he was supposoed to hold the innings together and instead he chose to slog and get out early. In comparison, Ashwin is a workhorse when it comes to batting with an equally impressive defence. During the Kolkata Test against West Indies, Ashwin’s patience and technique had emerged successful under pressure. It is the team’s loss not using his abilities well in ODI cricket by not bringing him up the order.

Coming to the bowling, here Jadeja is on a higher ground than Ashwin.  Once attacked at the start, Ashwin gets unsettled and his rhythm is spoilt whereas Jadeja has the ability to bowl consistently in the same areas.

Ashwin has always possessed a sound batting technique and it was just a matter of time it was used well by the team management whereas Jadeja can still be retained to finish the innings thanks to his aggressive style. It would be interesting to see how their roles unfold in the months ahead leading up to the world cup.

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Live Cricket Score, Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 3rd ODI at Dhaka: Zimbabwe need 298 runs to win

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd Test at Sharjah, Day 1: Mohammad Hafeez century guides Pakistan to 186/3 at tea

Don Bradman vs Clarrie Grimmett — how did The Don fare against the craftiest leggie of his era

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15: Top 5 performances of the tournament

Phillip Hughes injury: Spare a thought for Sean Abbott

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India India tour of Australia 2014-15 South Africa South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Australia vs India 2014: Indian pacers grab eyeballs in warm-up games

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 3rd Test at Sharjah: Hosts reach 186/3 at tea

Sri Lanka vs England 1st ODI at Colombo: Openers give Sri Lanka steady start

Mohammad Hafeez completes century as Daniel Vettori takes first wicket in two years

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 3rd ODI at Dhaka: Bangladesh set Zimbabwe imposing target of 298 for victory

Daniel Vettori becomes the most capped New Zealand player

Quinton de Kock equals record for most centuries before the age of 22

Wriddhiman Saha’s performance in the 1st Test at Brisbane could make or break his career

England tour of Sri Lanka 2014: Stats overview of past encounters

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: New Zealand’s inspired performance in 2nd Test serves important lesson to non-Asian countries

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

Bigg Boss: Hot Pakistani model Veena Malik and husband arrested on blasphemy charges

மணப்பெண் அழகு சரிபார்ப்பு பட்டியல் – உங்கள் திருமணத்திற்கு ஒரு மாதத்திற்கு முன் என்ன செய்ய வேண்டும்

Bigg Boss 8: Is Gautam Gulati out of the house?

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Scoop: Is Sid Mallya really gay? Watch video to find out!

Microsoft Lumia 535: First non-Nokia low budget Windows smartphone set to be launched today

रितेश-जेनेलिया देशमुख के घर पुत्ररत्न का हुआ जन्म

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here