India Blue v India Red, Duleep Trophy 2016-17, final, 3rd day September 12, 2016

Jadeja's five-for takes India Blue a step closer to Duleep title

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India Blue 1 for 0 and 693 for 6 dec (Pujara 256*, Jackson 134, Gambhir 94) lead India Red 356 (Binny 98, Mishra 65, Jadeja 5-95) by 338 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

File photo - Ravindra Jadeja wheeled away for 34 overs, extracting sharp turn and bounce on a tiring Greater Noida surface © AFP

Ravindra Jadeja's five-wicket haul led a persistently probing bowling effort from India Blue on a day when they were made to work harder than they would have expected to plough their way through India Red's batting line-up. That was partly down to the pitch - which offered sluggish turn, rather than the spitting variety - and partly down to sparkling fifties from Gurkeerat Singh, Stuart Binny, Amit Mishra and Kuldeep Yadav. India Red's spirited lower-order resistance frustrated India Blue and delighted a sizeable Monday crowd, but had little impact on the broader outcome of the match as they subsided to 356, conceding a first-innings lead of 337.

Jadeja consistently attacked the stumps and turned the ball past desperately groping bats. His speed through the air - averaging over 90kph - was considerably faster than that of any other spinner, denying the batsmen time to adjust to the turn. Bowling 34 overs in the day, he made good use of a sticky surface and dented India Red's fightback with the key wickets of Gurkeerat and Binny.

India Blue could have removed the lower order more swiftly if Jadeja's fellow spinners, Parvez Rasool and Karn Sharma had been more effective. Legspinner Karn was inconsistent with his line and length, alternating patches of incisiveness with periods that were less convincing. Offspinner Rasool had a good start to the day, troubling Shikhar Dhawan and Yuvraj Singh with offbreaks and straighter ones. Against the right-handers who followed, however, he was not as threatening as he might have liked.

The most impressive spinners after Jadeja were the ones wielding bats. Mishra came in at 194 for 6, and was immediately kept company by nine close-in fielders. He, however, responded by lofting Jadeja back over his head for four. Mishra combined with Kuldeep for an 86-run partnership for the eighth wicket that temporarily brought the third session to life and restored some respectability to India Red's innings.

The reason respectability needed restoring was the limp showing of the India Red top order. Dhawan and Yuvraj managed some lovely drives in the first session, but those were far outnumbered by tentative pokes and speculative swishes. While they struggled most against Rasool, they ultimately perished to over-ambitious strokes against Abhimanyu Mithun and Jadeja.

Dhawan, in particular, might rue his untimely indiscretion. His patchy 29 in his penultimate - possibly his last - innings before India's first Test against New Zealand from September 22, puts him in a tight spot as India's selectors mull which of three possible openers - M Vijay and KL Rahul are the others - to select in the playing XI.

Jadeja, meanwhile, worked his way into fine rhythm in the second session, ending a 63-run stand for the fifth wicket between Gurkeerat and Binny when he dismissed Gurkeerat for 57 with a beauty that drifted into middle before turning away to hit off stump. Binny then put on 64 with Ankush Bains, before Jadeja ended that partnership too when he had Bains caught at second slip. The most decisive breakthrough, though, came minutes before the dinner break when Jadeja pitched one on leg stump and spun it away to hit Binny's back pad in front of middle. That ended a knock that had been gaining in momentum and poise, and left Binny an agonising two runs short of a century.

Mishra and Kuldeep counterattacked in the third session of the day, but Karn eventually dismissed both to end the innings. Riding on a huge lead, Gautam Gambhir and Mayank Agarwal played out the remaining two overs and headed to stumps with their side firmly in control.

Sirish Raghavan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • john on September 13, 2016, 21:17 GMT

    @SAURAVJAIN: "Kohli would anyhow accommodate Rohit, Mishra, Dhawan and Ishant in Playing eleven. And the utility match winners like Pujara, Jadeja, KL Rahul and Vijay would be dropped from Eleven for some absurd excuses." I would have to completely agree with this statement Pujara, Jadeja, Rahane, KL Rahul and R Ashwin are the real backbone of the test team, the test team can easily do without V. Kohli, S. Dhawan, R. Sharma these are all second stringers Virat himself was a complete flop for his first 15 tests and was given numerous opportunities , which allowed him to get better his true form was the form he shows in England 2014, Australia are very weak as a team they are the worst they have been in over 20 years, which is why they get their batsmen at home on complete flat batting tracks to inflate their averages.

  • san on September 13, 2016, 17:20 GMT

    So my (obvious) prediction that Mr.Talent a.k.a game changer in a single session - got the opportunity to bat at No.3..........and what a way he changed the game in one session - right...

    BHUSHANB ON SEPTEMBER 12, 2016, 18:51 GMT Luck seems to have setup a tent outside of Rohit's house. So the game changer will be given the opportunity to bat as No.3 and with absolutely no pressure - he may indeed do it...

  • san on September 13, 2016, 17:18 GMT

    @ELECTRIC_LOCO_WAP4

    Limited overs format is hell a lot easy for batsmen compared to TEST format. That is why they can easily chase 350 in 50 overs, but still fall short of the same target even with 100 overs to spare on a Day-5.

    In tests the pitch changes a lot during the 5 days, there is rough, uneven bounce, fielders breathing down your neck... there is absolutely no comparison at all..

    Can you not see how every Dick and Harry slot Steyn all over the park in the IPL, but shiver at him in tests?

    For limited overs, the pitches are FLAT - not just now, but from 90s as well... at least there was reverse swing and an older ball for spinners with more fielders and longer boundaries then..... Now two hard balls, Swing for 2 overs, no reverse swing, spin bowling becoming extinct with shorter boundaries and less fielders on the boundaries..

    So please do not ever compare ODI stats against Test stats..

  • Swapnil on September 13, 2016, 16:58 GMT

    If it wasn't done on specific instructions from a particular group, the move to send Rohit ahead of in form Pujara must have been based on his perceived ability to score runs faster which would've enabled Gambhir to declare early. But what did he do instead, scoring at 45 runs per hundred balls! Playing for himself!! Such a self centred player. Yet people can't stop singing peans about his talent.

  • Subramani on September 13, 2016, 11:06 GMT

    JOSE...P Jimmy Anderson. is not the bowler he was 2 years ago because he has lost his pace by 10 km in his own statement. In other words unless he gets English weather conditions to bowl in, he is not very effective.At his current pace Jadeja will be able to execute strokes all over. In fact Jimmy will be forced to remember the war dance movements that Jadeja executed at Lord's in 2014. It will be swing of his bat that Jimmy will have to face.

  • Jose on September 13, 2016, 7:03 GMT

    Sir Ravindra might prove, to his detractors, that they don't know how to differentiate the elites from the hordes of proletariat when it comes to spin bowling, many of the latter turns their arms over to do a bit of spin bowling of various hues! It may take a lot more, before they can hope to be 'knighted' for their spin bowling feats. Of course, there are exceptions like Kuldeep yadav.

    Sir, most probably, will succeed in that, since he also uses his head while bowling, unlike some of the many others, in the same fray!

    When it comes to batting, it is a matter of focusing, and I think, he can change the role from hitting out for some quick runs to indulging in a bit of blockathon to save a test. It is, while doing the in-between role, he often prove to be a bit confused. England is one place, I would like to see how he fares against his old friend Jimmy, when Jimmy is in full flight at his pace & controlled swing.

  • Kumar on September 13, 2016, 6:07 GMT

    @SamRoy @SauravJain : its simple what are you saying is he should take his batting seriously, do agree on this with you. One more thing you don't compare him with Ashwin , he never had the pressure like Jadeja when he comes to bat, People tend to see Ashwin as a bowler and Jadeja as an all rounder. I get a feeling Jadeja always seems to stress more on bowling because of this , so as to keep his place in team. Once he is settled as a bowler in this team , he can try putting more effort on his batting skills.

  • Shanti on September 13, 2016, 5:32 GMT

    @SamRoy on September 13, 2016, 5:02 GMT

    You rightly say that 2 white balls reduced the chances for reverse swing. But the same 2 balls should double the available swing when they are new compared to just one. Be consent in your argument, for credibilty.

  • Saurav on September 13, 2016, 5:23 GMT

    Please let Rahane, Ashwin or Pujara lead the Indian Side. They have more vision, patience and ability to select exact playing Eleven than KOHLI. Kohli would anyhow accommodate Rohit, Mishra, Dhawan and Ishant in Playing eleven. And the utility match winners like Pujara, Jadeja, KL Rahul and Vijay would be dropped from Eleven for some absurd excuses.

  • sam on September 13, 2016, 5:22 GMT

    @OnlyCricketGeek Here is the thing. If Jadeja had improved his batting ability against swing bowling and shown more patience he would be averaging 35 with the bat like Ashwin. If Ashwin and Jadeja can average 35 with the bat then India become the best test team in the world by default. And, I have said many times that Jadeja is the best spinner in the world on a rank turner. Even on a slow turning track he is probably India's best spinner now. And in the last 6 months he has added a new flighted hard spun delivery which got him a couple of wickets in the St. Lucia test. So all kudos to his bowling. He has the ability to bat a lot better in tests. Just practice in the nets against swing bowling and not throw his wicket away. Consult a batting coach like Praveen Amre.

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