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Jadeja's another rescue act, Root not taking wickets, and more

article_imageTALKING POINTS
Last updated on 15 Feb 2024 | 01:42 PM
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Jadeja's another rescue act, Root not taking wickets, and more

Here are some of the major talking points from day one of the third Test in Rajkot

Jaiswal keeps getting out to pace

In his young Test career, Yashasvi Jaiswal has an average of 130.33 and a balls/dismissal ratio of 180.3 against spin, which drops to 28.44 and 52.3 respectively against pace. The left-hander dominates spin but is getting out to fast bowlers, especially behind the stumps (wicketkeeper + slip cordon). 

Even in the ongoing series against England, Jaiswal has gotten out to pace three times in five innings, averaging 12 as compared to 147.5 against spin. The 22-year-old has shown susceptibilty against swinging deliveries and often ends up edging it to the wicketkeeper or the slip cordon.

Having slammed 80 in the first Test and 209 in the second game, Jaiswal came to Rajkot high on confidence. He even got two early boundaries but his stay was cut short when he was caught behind off Mark Wood’s bowling. The tearaway quick got one to nip away from the length and Jaiswal was found caught at the crease. All he did was poke at the delivery and ended up giving a simple catch to Joe Root at first slip.

There are so many positives to Jaiswal’s batting and if he can find a way to eliminate these dismissals, the left-hander could take his game to next level. 

Jadeja - India’s rescue man

India in trouble? Call Ravindra Jadeja!

The 35-year-old has developed a good habit of playing the rescue acts for India in Test cricket. No matter who or where India are playing, Jadeja has found a way to score runs. He has done that in overseas Tests, but at home, the left-hander becomes even more crucial. It won’t be wrong to say that Jadeja is India’s MVP in home Tests. 

We all know how lethal he is with the ball in these conditions, so let’s stick to his batting for now. He has an average of 59.44 with the bat in eight home Tests since 2022. What’s more, that average goes up to 71.7 whenever he has walked out to bat with India’s score being less than 250. He has three centuries and as many fifties in 12 innings, proving to be India’s rescue man on many occasions. He also has the most 50-plus scores for India in home Tests since 2020.

On Thursday (February 15), India were 33/3 when he walked out to bat, the lowest score he has ever come out to bat at. With the captain Rohit Sharma at the other end, Jadeja knew it was up to them to dig India out of trouble, especially with two debutants to follow. Batting at No. 5 only for the seventh time in his career, Jadeja responded with an unbeaten knock of 110 off 212 deliveries and put on 204 runs with Rohit.

Jadeja never looked in hurry, taking his ample time to keep the scoreboard moving. He was particularly aggressive against Wood and Root, scoring 38 off 47 and 33 and 45 against them respectively. When Rohit got out, Jadeja slowed down further and allowed the debutant Sarfaraz Khan to do all the scoring. He put on 77 runs with Sarfaraz but scored only 14 runs in the partnership. 

The only mistake he made during his stay in the middle was when he ran out Sarfaraz. Jadeja was on 99 then, but completed his fourth Test hundred on the very next delivery. This isn’t the first time he has saved India from an early collapse. Against England in 2022 in Birmingham, India were 98/5 when he came out to bat and scored 104 to take them past 400. 

He has already saved India from the collapse but the local lad would know his job is far from done. India would want him to keep batting on day two and take them past 400-450.  

Root not contributing with the ball

The 33-year-old is much more than a part-time off-spinner, especially in these conditions. Root started the series by taking five wickets in the first match and it felt like he would play a huge role with the ball in the remaining four Tests as well. With Tom Hartley, Rehan Ahmed and Shoaib Bashir quite inexperienced, England captain Ben Stokes has been using Root as one of his premier spinners. 

However, Root hasn’t taken a single wicket post the first Test. He has bowled 29 overs in this period and has leaked runs at an economy of 4.8, the highest amongst all England bowlers. Even on day one of the third Test, Root conceded 68 runs in 13 overs and wasn’t able to put any sort of pressure on the Indian batters. 

Other major talking points

Sarfaraz Khan lives his (and his Abbu's) dream to briefly conquer the world

Better late than never, Rohit Sharma finally arrives to the party

Mark Wood vindicates his selection with fiery spell to rattle India

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