IND v AUS 2020: 3 reasons why Ravindra Jadeja’s absence will be felt by India in the T20Is

Australia v India - T20 Game 1

Australia v India - ODI Game 3

Australia v India - T20 Game 1

After suffering a blow to the head and a suspected hamstring niggle in the 1st T20I against Australia, India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has been ruled out of the remainder of the T20I series.

Jadeja has established himself as one of the first names on the teamsheet, and has put in vital contributions lower down the order, with the ball and in the field. Captain Virat Kohli will certainly miss the services of the southpaw as India attempt to keep their 9-match winning streak in the T20I format alive.

Here are 3 reasons why Ravindra Jadeja’s absence will be felt by India in the T20I series against Australia.

Despite being a team renowned for their fielding, India have been uncharacteristically sloppy since their return to international cricket. Various players have put down regulation chances, and India’s ground fielding hasn’t exactly made up for their shoddy catching.

Even in the 1st T20I against Australia, Kohli shelled a fairly straightforward catch while Manish Pandey dropped what would’ve been a stunner. Sanju Samson was also guilty of giving away 5 overthrows.

Ravindra Jadeja himself as been far from his best in the field. He dropped a sitter off Marnus Labuschagne’s bat at long-off in the 2nd ODI, and has missed a few run-outs that he would’ve effected in his sleep earlier.

However, the Saurashtra-born player is still India’s best fielder and would’ve undoubtedly found a way to contribute in the department. Ravindra Jadeja’s absence will be felt dearly in what has been a poor fielding side of late.

Over the course of the last few months, Ravindra Jadeja has moulded himself into a reliable finisher. Playing for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League and for India, the southpaw has put in telling contributions lower down the order, both while batting first and in run-chases.

In the Australia series, Jadeja has scores of 25, 24, 66* and 44*. Alongside Hardik Pandya, he has ensured that the failures of India’s top-order batsmen haven’t completely derailed the team. Often taking a liking to the opposition’s best death bowler, the 31-year-old seems to have taken over the mantle of the finisher from the now-retired MS Dhoni.

In Ravindra Jadeja’s absence, the responsibility of closing out the innings will fall on Pandya and Manish Pandey. While the former has been in good form and can be trusted to produce the goods, the Karnataka batsman looked out of touch in an 8-ball 2 in the 1st T20I.

Ravindra Jadeja will definitely be missed in this aspect of the game.

The composition of India’s playing XI has been a major talking point ever since their return to international cricket.

Pandya isn’t comfortable enough to bowl regularly after undergoing back surgery, leaving Ravindra Jadeja and Washington Sundar as the only two all-rounders in the side.

Sundar is certainly a capable batsman, but he has a highest score of 14 in international cricket and 35 in the IPL. And in the 2nd T20I, the 21-year-old will likely be the only all-rounder in the playing XI, and will be expected to bat at No. 7.

India will be forced to play with 6 frontline batsmen, 1 all-rounder and 4 frontline bowlers. This will leave them thin in both departments, and the team balance that they have tried so desperately to find will have deserted them after just one game due to the absence of Ravindra Jadeja.

Australia, on the other hand, have a number of world-class all-rounders they can call upon. Moises Henriques was their best player in the 1st T20I, and other stars like Ashton Agar might return to the playing XI for the 2nd game with the series on the line.

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