Jadhav teases Bangladesh into a trap
Kedar Jadhav may have well been forgiven for believing this was a nice summer holiday in rainy England. He was supposed to be the finisher, being called upon to carve out crucial lower-order runs at crunch moments in a tournament where second chances are rare. But coming into Thursday's game, he had batted just once, all of 13 deliveries against Sri Lanka.
On the field, he hasn't quite been the example his captain would want to point to in team meetings. Even today, Kohli was ticking Jadhav, who was standing at cover, to be a bit more sturdy in the field.If there's a reason he's been persisted with, it's because his recent performances - he was the Player of the Series in India's previous ODI assignment, against England - showed he could deliver when needed.
India were definitely in a spot on Thursday, after Virat Kohli decided to bowl. Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim's fine counter-attack in excellent batting conditions meant they had added 111 in 19.1 overs. R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja didn't seem too much of a threat. Hardik Pandya wasn't spared either. Runs were flowing. Kohli had a fifth-bowler problem.
He could've turned to Yuvraj Singh, but he went to Jadhav, who came on with his slow, skiddy, not-turning offspin and ended up with wickets of both set batsmen in a spell of 6-0-22-2 to deliver a body blow to Bangladesh.
Jadhav later deconstructed Tamim's wicket. "I saw him once or twice he was looking for big shots so pushed two or three balls quicker," he said. "Then I knew he is waiting for the slower one, so I kept it slightly on a shorter side so he wouldn't be able to get it on the frontfoot. He also played it cross-batted, and missed it." As simple as that.
The wow moment
Four of his first 11 deliveries were long hops. But unlike many others who fire the ball in, Jadhav leaves the tough task of forcing the pace to the batsmen. Three of the long hops found a fielder. The fourth was stopped by Bhuvneshwar Kumar at cover point. Tamim was well set by now. But the frustration of not picking off friendly deliveries to the boundary got to him. He lined himself to slog one with the angle, but the ball didn't arrive. He was already through with the swing when the ball beat the bat to crash into the leg stump.
Stats that matter
- Jadhav conceded no boundaries off 17 balls to left-handers
- Bangladesh's run rate dropped from 5.68 to 3.73 in the 10 overs after Jadhav came onto bowl
- Jadhav has bowled all of 36 overs across 18 ODIs. He's picked up eight wickets, six of those have been left-handers.
What they said
"Hardik went for a few in his first three, so we wanted to give him a bit of a break and cover up overs through Kedar. And with one left-handed batting, we knew that he had the ability to get in two, three, dot balls to the left-hander every over. But (he) ended up changing the whole game for us." Virat Kohli on the rationale behind throwing the ball to Jadhav
"That is just a brilliant spell from @JadhavKedar. Always tricky to keep a part-timer going but he has justified Kohli's faith." Harsha Bhogle on twitter
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo