Having suffered an injury during an Indian Premier League (IPL) match, Kedar Jadhav's participation in the upcoming ICC 2019 World Cup came under doubt. There was even talk of replacements in the form of Rishabh Pant or Ambati Rayudu being sent with the Indian team to England. However, all those speculations have been consigned to the dustbin as Jadhav is now declared fit for the mega event that begins on May 30.
The Indian team leaves for England on May 22 and play their first warm-up game on May 25 against New Zealand. Their opening encounter in the World Cup against South Africa takes place on June 5 against South Africa. The 34-year old middle-order batsman has emerged as one of the most dependable players in the Indian team and apart from regularly contributing with the bat, has also delivered some crucial spells with the ball. His unique side-arm action has proven to be highly deceptive for the batsmen and has brought India key breakthroughs in various matches.
Making his debut in 2014 during a home series against Sri Lanka, Jadhav is now a veteran of 59 ODIs and has scored 1179 runs at an average of 43.48. He has also been able to pick 27 wickets in his ODI career with a strike-rate of 40.4 and an economy of 5.15 – very respectable numbers for a non-frontline spinner.
There are two 100s and five 50s to his credit including a brilliant knock against England at Pune in early 2017 when he combined with his captain Virat Kohli to revive India from a position of 63/4 while chasing 351 and took it to victory. Another notable performance came from him in the Final of Asia Cup against Bangladesh last year when he first stopped the opposing team from getting a big score by picking up crucial wickets, and then, batted his team to a tense win on the last ball of the match.
His absence would have been a huge loss to India. But with him fit, Virat Kohli and his team can put their focus back on winning the title.