‘Round-arm’ Kedar Jadhav does the trick again

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03 Oct 2017 02:03 AM IST

NAGPUR: On a decent batting surface at Jamtha in the last One-dayer, Australia were cruising along nicely when Kedar Jadhav turned things around again for India.

Openers Aaron Finch and David Warner had already hit 10 boundaries in the first 10 overs and India needed to slow things down.

Hardik Pandya got India the first breakthrough, sending back Finch in his very first over.

To everyone's surprise, skipper Virat Kohli replaced Pandya with part-timer Kedar Jadhav.

The move could have backfired with Steve Smith and David Warner at the crease.

Jadhav, however, seemed unfazed.

He instead bowled slower and slower through the air. Smith got frustrated by Jadhav's tight spell and eventually was trapped leg-before going for the slog sweep to a straighter delivery.

From 60-0, Australia went to 103-2 by the 20th over.

They had lost the momentum and their skipper.

By the end of the Australian innings, Jadhav's figures read 10-0-48-1. It was the most he had ever bowled in an ODI. With every passing game, the 32-year-old's performance with the ball keeps improving.

"He is proving to be a great asset with his bowling.

I am sure he hasn't taken any coaching.

He doesn't need coaching.

If he takes coaching he won't be the same bowler.

It was just a year ago that Jadhav was given another opportunity as a middle-order batsman during the One-dayers against New Zealand.

Till then, he was known largely as a gifted strokeplayer and makeshift wicketkeeper.

Nobody had seen him bowl.

Out of the blue, then ODI skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni introduced Jadhav into the attack in the first One-dayer in Dharamshala after New Zealand were reduced to 57-5. In his second over, Jadhav struck twice in two balls to get rid of James Neesham and Mitchell Santner.

In Mohali, he picked up some big wickets of the in-form Tom Latham, Kane Wlliamson and Corey Anderson.

He ended the series with six wickets.

Hirwani feels Dhoni discovered that Jadhav could contribute handily with the ball.

"Dhoni has a knack for picking talent.

He has played a vital role in Jadhav's emergence as bowler.

He must have played Jadhav in the nets.

Jadhav was part of a young team Dhoni led in Zimbabwe before the New Zealand tour.

Dhoni must have found him difficult to get away and that's how Jadhav started bowled in matches.

You don't throw the ball to someone just like that in a match.

Now, Virat (Kohli) is using him quite well," Hirwani said.

Since that New Zealand game, Jadhav has bowled in every series and picked up crucial wickets.

He started bowling with a round-arm action during the One-day series against West Indies.

He uses the crease well, creates different angles and slows down the pace to make it difficult for batsmen.

"Batting is about timing and power.

Jadhav's bowling makes it difficult to time the ball.

It all boils down to how much power a batsman can generate.

He has very unusual action too. Have you seen a spinner bowling with a round-arm action? After pitching, the ball just doesn't come on to the bat. He can break the rhythm of a set batsman.

Also, being a part timer, he doesn't have any pressure," the 48-year-old said.

Kohli too said that being a part-time bowler, Jadhav has nothing to lose.

"If a proper set batsman tries to go after part-timers, more often than not you get your breakthroughs.

The regular bowlers are obviously always looking for consistency, and thinking from a bowler's point of view.

It's still early days for Jadhav as an international cricketer.

The team management expects him to finish games with the bat. He is still learning that art. He averages 45.11 with the bat, and 24.81 with ball.

Any international cricketer will be proud of those stats.

While Jadhav isn't a genuine allrounder, he is still doing his best for the team.

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