Former India selector MSK Prasad has said that Ravindra Jadeja’s inclusion in the playing eleven for WTC Final was justified as he was someone with top all-round skills. Speaking exclusively with Sportskeeda, he reasoned against fans who felt Jadeja’s inclusion filled up a place for a specialist Test batsman as India fared poorly in the second innings.
“Jadeja is no less than anyone with the bat. If you see his Test record of late, he has been very good with the bat. Plus, he would have been an added advantage with the ball and also on the field. Had Hardik Pandya been around, then there would not have been any second thoughts. But since he is not there, we wanted one more all-rounder and we only had a spinning all-rounder," he said.
He also explained the reason why Jadeja’s inclusion was valid even as a specialist spinner as it was a five day game and the pitch would have aided turn from someone like him.
“There was a reason why Jadeja was played. The reason was that, if in case it would have been a full game, there would have been a lot of footmarks, they [NZ] had many left-handers in their side, which he could have fancied his chances against. If you really look at it, there was some spin on offer which helped even Ashwin," said Prasad.
“Also, considering the kind of form that Jadeja is in, that was the best possible XI we could have put up. The first day got washed but it still was a five-day game with the extension of one more day. So had it been a five-day game, Jadeja would definitely have come in handy."