There used to be a time when the entire Indian top order was full of batsmen who could roll their arm over. You threw the ball to Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly or Yuvraj Singh – and they could comfortably bowl 10 overs among themselves. Now, with players like Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik and Manish Pandey in the top order, India are missing this luxury they once possessed. Kedar Jadhav’s ability to contribute with the ball indeed gives him an edge over his competitors.
With Hardik Pandya failing to complete his quota of 10 overs on a regular basis, Jadhav chips in with 4-5 overs. His awkward action allows him to bowl economically and pick up one wicket at least. However, in the last five innings, Jadhav has abysmal scores of 1, 18, 12, 27 and 5 (not out) with the bat. This needs to be addressed.
This article suggests three such spin-bowling all-rounders who can replace Kedar Jadhav in the Indian team.
After a dreadful run in the Ranji Trophy, lady luck has recently begun to smile upon Raina once again. On the back of an unbeaten 126 coming off just 59 balls, Raina has made a comeback in the 16-member Indian T20 squad for the 3-match T20 series between India and South Africa.
The last time Raina played in Indian colours, he was India’s highest scorer – with a 63-run knock in the third T20 match against England. However, he was dropped thereafter due to poor fitness. Having passed the Yo-Yo test now, Raina presents India with a bowling option in the top order with his off-spin. If he can make his mark on this tour and the following Sri Lanka T20 series, he may well be knocking at the door of the Indian ODI team as well.
When Mumbai Indians used their right-to-match card to retain Krunal for ₹8.8 crores, it wasn’t a surprise for anyone. For a player who made his debut in the 2016 edition of the IPL, this a really hefty amount – but he deserves every bit of it.
Furthermore, the 26-year old Baroda all-rounder has an edge over the 32-year old Kedar Jadhav when it comes to fielding. Not only does Krunal have the ability to match Jadhav shot for shot, he also brings in a rare bowling style – the slow left-arm orthodox spin.
In the IPL, the senior Pandya has shown that he can be a game-changer with both the bat and the ball. His 47-run knock in the low-scoring 2017 IPL final eventually turned out to be the difference between the Mumbai Indians and the Rising Pune Supergiants. Krunal also bowled his quota of four overs in the final and ended up as the Man of the Match.
The fact that Deepak Hooda has been entrusted with the captaincy of Baroda’s team at the young age of 22 speaks volumes of his talent. Hooda has been nicknamed ‘Hurricane’ for his big-hitting ability which can turn the match upside down in no time.
As Hooda generally bats at number six for the Sunrisers Hyderabad, he knows a thing or two about batting at this spot. He also bowls right-arm off-break, which is precisely what Jadhav bowls as well. It’s just that he may not be able to bowl in the Malinga-esque manner of Jadhav.
With a first-class batting average in excess of 50 coupled with some useful off-spin, he is another Baroda all-rounder who can be groomed for the future. If Hooda continues to improve, he can be a dependable prospect as a spin-bowling all-rounder.