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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 19 June 2024

Ravindra Jadeja’s fitness status delays announcement of squad for remaining three Tests against England

The series is locked at 1-1 and the third Test in Rajkot begins on February 15

Our Special Correspondent Calcutta Published 10.02.24, 04:50 AM
Ravindra Jadeja missed the second Test with a hamstring strain suffered in Hyderabad.

Ravindra Jadeja missed the second Test with a hamstring strain suffered in Hyderabad. PTI picture

Ravindra Jadeja’s fitness status has delayed the announcement of the squad for the remaining three Tests against England. The series is locked at 1-1 and the third Test in Rajkot begins on February 15.

Jadeja suffered a hamstring strain during the first Test in Hyderabad and had been forced to miss the second match of the series along with KL Rahul, who experienced pain in his right quadriceps.

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Rahul has since been pa­ssed fit by the National Cricket Academy medical team but Jadeja’s clearance is still awaited. With five days still remaining, the team management is in no hurry.

The national selection committee, headed by Ajit Agarkar, was supposed to meet on Friday evening but has postponed the meeting to Saturday.

Sources told The Telegra­ph that the selectors are ready to wait for Jadeja since the all-rounder’s presence at his home ground could have a significant impact on the
outcome.

Jadeja's condition has significantly improved over the past few days and a clear picture could emerge closer to the Test. There’s a strong possibility that he could be included in the squad subject to passing the fitness test.

Both Jadeja and Rahul were India’s top-two scorers in the first innings in Hyderabad and their presence is expected to prop up a frail middle-order in the absence of Virat Kohli.

“The think-tank is willing to wait till the last minute for Jadeja. His batting has shown much promise during the first Test and it is believed that the lefthander can negate the threat posed by the spinners, especially Tom Hartley,” a source told The Telegraph.

India’s batting has remained their Achilles heel, the victory in the second Test notwithstanding. None of the batters except for double centurion Yashasvi Jaiswal and centurion Shubman Gill managed to get a half-century in Visakhapatnam.

With World Test Champio­nship points at stake, the team management is not willing to take any chances. Any slip-ups could mean England making further inroads, which could have disastrous consequences in respect to the series.

While Kohli is certain to miss the series because of “personal reasons”, the void left behind in the batting has proved to be damaging. Shreyas Iyer has been woefully short of runs and Rajat Patidar struggled to battle nerves in his maiden Test.

With Iyer too ruled out, the team management is hellbent on securing the services
of Jadeja.

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