3 Best Replacements Of Ravindra Jadeja In India's T20 World Cup Squad
While Ravindra Jadeja is irreplaceable in terms of the all-round skillet he brings to the table - the left-hander is the pure 3-dimensional player - the Indian management and selectors have already been given a big concern about the balance of the team after the 33-year-old was ruled out of the T20 World Cup 2022.
After two matches of the Asia Cup 2022, Jadeja's right knee injury that had kept him out of West Indies ODIs flared up again and he was ruled out of the tournament. Jadeja returned home and was advised to undergo surgery immediately, the rehabilitation time for which has now forced him to miss the T20 WC starting mid-October in Australia.
The selectors and management will now have to look for players who can fill Ravindra Jadeja’s big boots.
Here are 3 alternatives who can take Ravindra Jadeja’s slot in the T20 World Cup squad:
Axar Patel seems the perfect, like-for-like replacement for Ravindra Jadeja. For the last couple of years, Patel has been in India’s squads and got matches to play when Jadeja was rested or injured. Axar has impressed everyone with his bowling and batting improvements - from being a tight economy spinner to now taking wickets, and from being a tailender to now an improved slogger.
Axar replaced Jadeja in the Asia Cup but didn’t get to play against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The main reason for that is the management looks at Axar as a bowling all-rounder while Jadeja is more of a batting all-rounder in white-ball cricket.
India opted to play Deepak Hooda, however, that made a complication that Pant had to come in replacing Dinesh Karthik to be the only left-hander in the top 7. So, it seems that the management will now have to put more faith in Axar’s batting if they wish to play Dinesh Karthik in the eleven.
In recent months - in the IPL and in West Indies- Axar has shown that he could be trusted to bat at number 7 - he’s scored his 251 runs at a terrific strike rate of 152 this year.
Deepak Hooda has a decent chance of making it to the T20 World Cup in the 15-man squad, a hint of that is he was part of the Asia Cup squad. Apart from his hitting prowess, Hooda offers a handy off-spin option, and it is believed that he could be trusted with a couple of overs when a left-handed batsman is at the crease.
In T20s in 2022, Hooda averages 36 and has a strike rate of 144 across 24 innings this year. Hooda coming in for Jadeja in the eleven would then mean that the management would play Pant over Karthik - as they did in the Super 4 - to break the chain of right-handers.
With Washington Sundar out of the picture for many months now, Ravichandran Ashwin has grabbed his opportunities as the lead off-spinner in the team, after having made his comeback to India’s T20I team last year: he’s snapped up 14 wickets in his 10 T20Is while conceding miserly at only 5.25 runs per over.
And while Ashwin isn’t an established batter like Jadeja, the Rajasthan Royals all-rounder has shown immense promise with this batting this year: in all T20s in 2022, Ashwin has struck 229 runs at a strike rate of 144, including a maiden IPL fifty.
With his experienced and shrewdness, Ashwin is adept at bowling in powerplay and even on flat tracks.