Former India international Ajay Jadeja has criticised Team India’s selection in the first T20I of the five-match series, which the hosts lost by 8-wickets.
On the eve of the series opener, India skipper Virat Kohli had confirmed Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul will open the innings. However, Shikhar Dhawan came to open along with Rahul in the first T20I.
Jadeja expressed his surprise at India’s method in the game, stating there was no new ‘experiment’ as assured by the Indian captain in the pre-match presser.
“Leave the result aside, but what new experiment did you see from India in this match? You know how Shikhar Dhawan plays. KL Rahul, too has been around for so long. Sanju Samson was playing in the middle-order, and in place of him, Rishabh Pant came in, so that was the only change. So I couldn’t understand what the experiment was,” Jadeja told Cricbuzz in a chat show.
Jadeja also laid out his reaction to Kohli’s comment where he stressed playing ‘aggressive cricket’. Jadeja said he expected India to send Rishabh Pant or Hardik Pandya up the order, but it didn’t happen.
“In the pre-match press conference, Virat Kohli clearly says Rohit Sharma will play, and we will come with a new aggressive approach. I thought maybe Rishabh Pant would open, then Hardik Pandya, and we will see a new aggressive approach,” the 50-year-old added.
Kohli scored a duck in the first game as he got out after playing an aggressive shot, which many found not his natural approach, especially in the initial phase of his batting. Jadeja was also concerned about the same and asked why Kohli needed to change his batting pattern through which he has achieved so much success.
“Why would you change the world’s most successful pattern? Which is Virat Kohli’s. He never was the most powerful striker. Yes, he can play aggressively, but there is a pattern after getting set. He doesn’t need to change anything. The way he has batted (in 1st T20I) is a worrying factor for me. He should send someone else if he wants quick runs,” Jadeja added further.
The second match between India and England will take place on Sunday (March 14) in Ahmedabad.