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Posted at: May 25, 2019, 8:10 AM; last updated: May 25, 2019, 8:10 AM (IST)

Jadhav, A man for all seasons

A strokeplayer and useful offie, Jadhav could be an important link in India’s batting, bowling
Jadhav, A man for all seasons
Kedar Jadhav

Sunny Kaul

HAVE you ever heard a cricketer wishing the opposition scores in access of 300 runs so that he can put his skills to the test while chasing a big target? The answer in all probability will be “No”. But on June 15, 2017, when India was playing England in Pune, there was one player who wanted the visitors to pile up a huge total, and when the English obliged, he was happy because it meant he would get a chance to help his country win the match on his home ground. And guess what? The local lad, coming in to bat at No. 6, hit a 77-ball 120 to pull India out of a mess and help them chase 351 runs. The knock aptly summarises Kedar Jadhav and the confidence he has in his abilities.

“I wanted them to score big as I knew I might not get a chance to bat if we have to chase a low total,” the stocky right-handed middle-order batsman recalled during a chat show.

Jadhav might not have the same pedigree as some of the other Pune cricketers, like Hrishikesh Kanetkar or Dheeraj Jadhav, who were more orthodox in their approach, but he certainly knows how to get the job done.

“He has always done it when India is in trouble. His batting is better than what the numbers suggest,” felt former India cricketer Ajay Jadeja.

Jadhav made his First Class debut for Maharashtra in 2007-08 and got the India call up after a fulfilling domestic season in 2013-14, where he ended up as the highest run-getter with a total of 1223 runs, which included six centuries.

Utility cricketer

The 34-year-old has so far scored 1174 runs in his 59 ODIs at a healthy average of 43.48. He has also taken 27 wickets and often proves to be a partnership breaker with his unorthodox bowling style, which he discovered “accidently” during a practice session ahead of India’s ODI match against New Zealand at Dharamsala in October 2016.

“I was asked by (MS) Dhoni bhai to bowl a few overs in the nets as my services could be required in the match next day. While I was bowling regular off-spin, I realised anyone could hit me. I tried to bowl with a slight round-arm action and it worked,” Jadhav revealed during a chat show. “I asked Anil Kumble, who was the coach then, can I bowl with same action and he said it was perfectly OK as long as I kept bowling above the shoulder,” added the all-rounder. Interestingly, Jadhav had bowled just 12 overs in First Class cricket before bowling for India. The multi-dimensional cricketer can thus have a significant role to play for India in the upcoming World Cup, more so, if skipper Virat Kohli decides to play three regular seamers and a lone spinner in the playing eleven.    

Though Jadhav has not got much experience of playing in England, he is one of those cricketers who know how to adapt to different conditions.

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