He may not be the most high-profile cricketer but Kedar Jadhav has emerged as one of the most reliable batsmen India has in limited overs cricket. His presence in the middle order is highly important for the team to mount a successful campaign in the upcoming ICC 2019 World Cup. However, the very participation of the right-handed batsman has come into doubt after he suffered a scary injury during the IPL game between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab.
In an attempt to stop an overthrow from going to the boundary in the 14th over, Jadhav dived and ended up causing harm to his shoulder. Immediately, the CSK player was clearly in discomfort and needed medical attention. He was absent from the field for the remainder of King's XI innings.
Importance of Jadhav
The 34-year old has proven to be highly valuable in ODI cricket not just as a batsman but also an off-spinner with unusual action. He has often been responsible for picking up key wickets at vital points in games. One can recall his match-winning all round performance in the Final of the Asia Cup. In that contest, Jadhav got key breakthroughs for India when Bangladesh looked set for a big score and then came into bat despite being injured to get India the win on the last ball of the match.
The comments made by CSK coach Stephen Fleming in the press-conference following the game didn't provide much relief to the worried Indian fans. "He's getting an x-ray and a scan tomorrow. We are hopeful for him although I don't think we will see him again in this tournament for us. His attention is turned to the World Cup. He is in some discomfort, but we just need to be accurate with our assessments tomorrow. Fingers crossed that it is nothing serious, but it did not look that good," he said in an honest assessment.
With the World Cup coming up, most Indian fans, including those devoted to CSK, would be least bothered about his non-appearance for the MS Dhoni-led side. What they would want is for him to get fit in time to feature in the biggest ODI event of the cricket world. Otherwise, there would be a big hole in the Indian middle-order that would be hard to fill. Though Rishabh Pant and Ambati Rayudu are two options that India has for replacing him, his usefulness as an all-rounder makes him unique.