Team India is again in trouble on Day 1 of the ongoing fourth Test against England at Kennington Oval in London. After being put to bat first, the visitors lost three wickets in the first session. All-rounder Chris Woakes drew the first blood when he dismissed Indian opener, Rohit Sharma.
Soon, Ollie Robinson joined the party and removed the other opening batter, KL Rahul. As if this wasn’t enough, experienced campaigner James Anderson sent back Cheteshwar Pujara to reduce India to 39/3.
However, after Pujara’s dismissal, when everyone was surprised when they saw Ravindra Jadeja walking out to bat at number five instead of Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane. Amid all the anticipations as to why exactly Jadeja came to bat in place of Rahane, former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar, who was on air that time, tried to analyse the reason.
Gavaskar reckoned that Jadeja was promoted to disturb the bowlers’ lines with Virat Kohli at the other end in order to maintain the left hand-right hand combination.
“I think it’s because of the left-right combination to disturb the line and length of the bowlers. Jadeja has shaped well, and he batted for long hours and scored runs. Pant has been inconsistent so far in the series,” said Gavaskar while commentating.
The 72-year-old also observed that Rahane didn’t look ready as was seen in the pictures.
“But, I am not sure why Rahane wasn’t sent up the order. It looked to me like he wasn’t ready, as shown in the pictures,” added Gavaskar.
This was only the third time Ravindra Jadeja was sent to bat at number five or higher in Test cricket. In 2017 against Australia in Bangalore and in 2019 against South Africa in Vizag were the other two instances when Jaddu came up with the order.
However, the move to send Jadeja ahead of Rahane failed as he was dismissed by Woakes in the second session. The left-handed batter could only manage to score 10 runs off 34 deliveries.
The Wizard 🧙
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 2, 2021
So far, Jadeja has made 143 runs from six innings in the ongoing series against England.