Kedar Jadhav could be a valuable understudy to MS Dhoni

Kedar Jadhav has grabbed the golden opportunity with both hands and made it count by scoring a tenacious century in the third One-Day International (ODI) against Zimbabwe on Tuesday. He possesses immense talent as a wicket-keeper batsman and has justified his selection in the ODI side. Suraj Choudhari writes why India should make better use of Jadhav.

Jadhav has been a very prolific run-scorer in the domestic circuit for Maharashtra. The talented right-handed batsman averages just over 47 in First-Class matches and 46 in List A cricket at a scintillating strike-rate of 105. His ability to take on the bowlers makes him one of the most destructive batsmen in the Indian domestic circuit. In spite of proving his dexterity with the bat, he didn’t secure a place in the ODI side until 2014 when he played his first ODI against Sri Lanka. But he has been on the sidelines since then.

Jadhav scored just 21 runs in the first two matches of the ongoing tour of Zimbabwe, but he bounced back emphatically with his maiden ODI century and rescued India along with talented debutant Manish Pandey.

Jadhav came in to bat at No 6 after Robin Uthappa’s dismissal. At that stage, India were precariously placed at 82 for four inside 22 overs. One more wicket at this stage would have tilted the equilibrium heavily in Zimbabwe’s favour. Jadhav did not allow the situation get the better of him. Along with Pandey, he put on 144 runs stand for the fifth wicket and ensured India achieved a challenging 276 for five in 50 overs. His innings of 105 off 87 deliveries included 12 boundaries and a massive six. He was composed at the start before shifting gears at the death, with brilliant improvisation. His timing was exquisite.

With added worth that he brings in as a ‘keeper, Jadhav can be a fantastic back-up option in the Indian line-up, and is capable to fit in the big shoes of MS Dhoni as a ‘keeper-batsman, when the big man bids adieu to the games.  Jadhav has made a statement today that the selectors will find it hard to ignore.

 

(Suraj Choudharian avid cricket follower who plays the sport at club level, is a staffer with Criclife)

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