Former India coach Anshuman Gaekwad has said that India shouldn’t dare leave Ravindra Jadeja out of the playing eleven when they take on New Zealand in the WTC Final which is to begin on June 18 in Southampton. The cricketer has brilliant all-round skills, including fielding; leaving Jadeja on the sidelines could be costly, he felt.
“[Ravindra] Jadeja shouldn’t be left out at any cost. And why should he? He is such a huge asset to the team in all three departments. He is a triple-plus," Gaekwad tells Hindustan Times. “And I don’t think that if three bowlers cannot do damage in English conditions, a fourth pacer will help. Three is good enough," he told Hindustan Times.
“And you need a spinner. Ashwin is a class spinner alright but with Jadeja in the team, he has to play. How many international teams have got quality left arm spinners? And here you have one, not only as a spinner but as a proven batsman and a brilliant fielder. What else do you want?"
He also said that New Zealand will have the advantage as they landed in the country earlier and also played a couple of Test matches. India will head into the game without any match awareness. They did play an intra-squad match but, will that be enough? he asked.
“India should have had some match practice like New Zealand. They’ve already played two Test matches so they are well-versed with conditions. That’s an advantage they surely would carry. But at the same time, I won’t cut out India’s chances because they have played in England earlier and players know the conditions. But ultimately, knowing conditions isn’t everything. They have played enough cricket in England," Gaekwad adds.
“I still feel India’s recent record and attitude – the way they have won matches without main players in Australia and against England in India. They are high on confidence but hope it doesn’t turn into overconfidence. I personally feel the first two days of the WTC final are going to be very vital."