Jadeja returns for first two Tests
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja on Monday returned to India’s Test squad after a gap of nearly 14 months as selectors desisted from making too many changes to the 16- member squad for the first two matches against South Africa starting November 5.
The 26-year-old Jadeja was rewarded for his consistent performance in the domestic circuit and found a place alongside R Ashwin, who still remains doubtful owing to a side strain injury .
Barring Jadeja’s inclusion, there were no other changes in the Test squad announced by BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur after a meeting of the selection committee headed by Sandeep Patil here.
The selectors also made just one change in the ODI squad for the remaining two matches against Proteas, bringing in paceman Sreenath Arvind for fellow seamer Umesh Yadav.
Jadeja’s recall was not entirely unexpected as he has bagged 24 wickets in two domestic games for his Ranji team Saurashtra apart from putting in useful contributions with the bat.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhimaan Saha, who had missed the last Test against Sri Lanka because of injury has been brought back to the squad, to be captained by Virat Kohli.
Patil said the selectors are keenly observing the team’s so far disappointing run against the South Africans in the limited overs series. The hosts lost the Twenty20s 0-2 and are trailing 1-2 in the ODI series.
“We are concerned (performance). Two selectors who were travelling with the team had a word with the team management and captain. We had a detailed discussion with the captain. It is not a worrying factor. Every time the Indian team does well we feel good, every time it loses we feel bad,” Patil said.
“I have been saying that nobody is happy that we lost a game that we should have won. But we still back the team which we have chosen. We still back the ideas and the management and the support staff. We want them to do well. The areas that we wanted to be looked into have been discussed, about which the team management and captain will give a good thought to it,” he added.
Patil said the selectors and the captain have no differences on the composition of the team. “I have said this earlier and it is to give the captain the team that not only he wants but the team which selectors feel that will do well. The form of a particular player, looking at the slot that he had, looking at the opposition and like I said earlier, we are still on the same page.
“Whether it’s captain, team management, coach all selectors feel that they have selected the best. Final selection of 11 players has been left to them. We were worried about few things and we hope they will be sorted out in future,” he said.
The Test team has a balanced look in the batting department with Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay being the openers.
KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane will be the middle-order mainstays though Rahul can also open the innings if required.
The selectors have opted to go in with three specialist spinners in offie Ashwin, leg-break bowler Amit Mishra and left-arm spinner Jadeja will also add to the variety.
Although Ishant Sharma has been named in the squad, he will not be eligible to play the first Test having been banned by the ICC for his aggressive behaviour during the Sri Lanka series.
The remaining two ODIs will be played in Chennai and Mumbai on October 22 and 25 respectively.