“Massive loss for them,” Jayawardene on India not having Ravindra Jadeja in their T20 World Cup 2022 squad

Ravindra Jadeja has been ruled out of the T20 World Cup 2022 with a knee injury.

Ravindra Jadeja | GettyEarlier this week, the BCCI announced Team India’s 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia, with pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel making a return after recovering from their respective injuries.

The squad, however, didn’t feature all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who recently underwent a knee surgery.

Arshdeep Singh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are the other two specialist pacers in the squad, along with the all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Deepak Hooda. On the other hand, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Akshar Patel are the premier spinners in the line-up.

The batting line-up is along expected lines with skipper Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, and Dinesh Karthik all included.

The seam duo of Mohammad Shami and Deepak Chahar, middle order batter Shreyas Iyer, and leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi have been kept on standby.

Sharing his two cents on India’s squad, Sri Lankan batting legend Mahela Jayawardene said that the Men in Blue have suffered a massive blow

Sri Lankan cricket great Mahela Jayawardene feels the Men in Blue have suffered a massive blow with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja getting injured.

"It is a challenge (for India). They had fitted him (Jadeja) nicely in that No. 5 role. He has been batting really well, and him and Hardik (Pandya) being in that top six -- two guys who can give that all-round options -- gave India much more flexibility in that batting order," Jayawardene said on 'The ICC Review' on Saturday (September 17).

"It is a tough one for them, and probably a concern not having that left-hander. They've switched to leaving out DK (Dinesh Karthik) and bringing in Rishabh (Pant) in that role, batting at No. 5 or 4. Those are the things they have to settle going into the World Cup. But not having Jadeja, the form that he was in... it will be a massive loss for them," he added.

However, Jayawardene believes India still have much to look forward given that their star batter Virat Kohli regained his form in the recently held Asia Cup 2022 in UAE.

Before the Asia Cup, questions were raised over Kohli’s place in the Indian T20I team as he was enduring an extended lean patch. But the former skipper silenced his critics, finishing the six-team tournament as the second highest run-getter with 276 runs to his name from five innings at an average of 92 and a strike rate of 147.50, including one century and two fifties.

"He (Kohli) was there and thereabouts pretty much (in the Asia Cup)," said Jayawardene. "He just didn't have that big score under his belt to get that confidence, especially in white-ball cricket, which is always going to happen.

"There were a few injury concerns in the last 12 months. He had little niggles and they rested him, and India kept on giving people rest, with the workload that they had. So not having that consistent run also makes it tough.

 "In the Asia Cup he batted well, showed what he is capable of, especially in that batting position. Going forward for India, having that stability in that line-up and having confidence that a guy like Virat is going to be a factor, is going to be a concern for the opposition as well.

"It's good to see him batting like that. We need all these brilliant players to be at their best form in a World Cup, and that's what the World Cup deserves as well. Everyone going at each other at that level. It will be a fascinating World Cup in Australia," said Jayawardene.

The ex-Sri Lanka further cited that India would be bolstered by the return of ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah.

"For me the way they played, the skills, the talent, everything is there. They just need a little bit of confidence with the bat, with the ball and in the field," said Jayawardena.

"These are the little things that India will want to improve. It's just the confidence of bowlers being able to get wickets and then executing skills.

"Obviously, not having Jasprit (in the Asia Cup) was also a factor. He fills a big gap for them with the new ball and at the back end. That will settle them as well when he is back in Australia.

"World Cups are about momentum, World Cups are about playing your best cricket at the right time. So as long as they lift their game up to that level, I think India has the quality of players who can do that."

(With ICC inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 17 Sep, 2022

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