Ravindra Jadeja © AFP
Ravindra Jadeja © AFP

Aware of the fact that India are likely to field one spinner in the upcoming South Africa tour, left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja on Friday said the composition of the team depends on the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses. Jadeja (3 for 56) along with his spin partner Ravichandran Ashwin (4 for 67) shared seven wickets between them to bowl Sri Lanka out for a meagre 205 on the opening day of the second Test at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium here. Paceman Ishant Sharma grabbed the remaining three wickets.

Asked whether the team combination will relatively be on the same line in the three-Test series against the Proteas, Jadeja jokingly said, “Is this a question that you even need to ask? If I am the captain, I will not even give the ball to anyone (laughs). I will keep bowling from one end.” However, on a serious note, he said, “It all depends on the team’s balance and what it wants. At times on overseas tours, we assess if there are more left-handers or right-handers in the opposition and accordingly, the team composition is set.”

The Saurashtra spinner said selection issues are not under his control and there was no point in dwelling on such issues. ”I can only control the controllable. When I get an opportunity, I will try to do well. What is not in my control, there is no point thinking about it. When I get a chance to play in South Africa, I will try to do well.  When I got a chance the last time, I played the second Test after Ashwin played the first. That’s why I said that team’s combination will depend on composition of the opposition.”

India had the tourists on the mat in the final session of play on Friday, picking up 6 wickets for a mere 60 odd runs on a pitch that had little assistance for either the pacers or the slow bowlers. Jadeja praised the efforts of pacers Ishant and local boy Umesh Yadav, who kept it tight in the morning session of play.

“There was a lot of help from the wicket there (Kolkata) so you guys must have felt that every ball will yield a wicket but that was not the case here because this wicket had grass but not the bounce or swing or the overcast conditions of Kolkata. That’s why we did not get much help but the two (Ishant and Yadav) bowled well in the first session,” Jadeja added.

“If there is nothing in the wicket for spinners, then its good to try something different. Over the wicket or round the wicket, just try and create chances. That’s what he was doing.  On his own bowling, Jadeja told, “I was very happy as to how I bowled today. There was no help from the wicket and I was looking to bowl in right areas.”

India ended the first day at 11 for 1 after losing opener KL Rahul (7) cheaply.