India vs Australia – ‘He lends a lot of balance to the side’: Shastri lauds Ravindra Jadeja’s all-round contribution

India’s comprehensive eight-wicket win over Australia in Melbourne was a result of a great team effort. But there were some individuals who shone bright. Captain Ajinkya Rahane was adjudged ‘Man of the match’ for his inspirational leadership and defiant batting, which laid the foundation of the victory.

Both Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin picked up crucial wickets to set up the victory and the likes of Mohammed Siraj and Shubman Gill provided much needed support ball and bat respectively. But the one man who ticked the box in every department and whose inclusion made a huge impact on the balance of the team was Ravindra Jadeja.

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The all-rounder stitched a century stand with skipper Rahane in the first innings and helped India take a huge lead. He scored 57 valuable runs with the bat. While he picked a solitary wicket in the first innings, it was his left-arm spin that ended the vigil of Australia opener Matthew Wade in the second innings and he picked up another one too.

Jadeja was a live wire in the field too, picking up two important catches. His all-round contribution was hailed by Indian coach Ravi Shastri.

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“He is a genuine all-rounder and that’s why he bats where he is. He can bat at No.6 or even No.5, on given occasions but is a genuine all-rounder. That’s why he lends a lot of balance to the side,” Shastri said.

Jadeja who was playing his 50th Test match has more than 200 wickets to his kitty and is closing in on 2000 runs in Test cricket. His presence allowed India to not feel the pressure after Umesh Yadav was injured in the second innings.

“Also when we play overseas, there is a chance of one of the (fast) bowlers getting injured. You saw with Umesh (Yadav),” said Shastri, referring to the bowler, who is set to miss the next Test due to a calf muscle injury. “With Jadeja, you get that balance and also the fast bowlers get a respite with both Jaddu and Ash (R Ashwin) bowling,” he added.

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