After India’s comprehensive nine-wicket win over Bangladesh in the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy, captain Virat Kohli admitted that MS Dhoni played a key role in bringing in Kedar Jadhav to bowl in the opening inning and the move was later hailed as a game-changing one. Jadhav broke a set partnership in Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim to bring Bangladesh to 154/3. First he bowled Iqbal for 70 and a few overs later dismissed Rahim on 61 to finish with strong figures of 6-0-22-2 considering he’s a part timer.
Kohli acknowledged that Dhoni suggested introducing Jadhav as both the Bangladeshi batsmen were playing the regular spinners in Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin with ease. “Yeah, when moves like this pay off, I won’t take the whole credit. Obviously, I asked MS, as well, and we both decided that Kedar is a good option at the moment, and he bowled really well. Credit to him,” Kohli had said after the match.
“Kedar doesn’t bowl much in the nets, but he is a smart cricketer. He knows where the batsmen will be troubled, and if you can think like a batsman when you are bowling, it’s obviously a bit of an advantage to any bowler. So I think that today he executed plans perfectly,” Kohli added.
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Jadhav also heaped praise on Dhoni and the role he has played in Jadhav bowling to the best of his abilities in the contest despite putting in little time with the ball in the nets. “From the time I have been in this Indian team, I have been spending a lot of time with MS Dhoni, trying to soak in all the knowledge he has. I share a bond with him and if I can read from his eyes as to what he wants me to bowl. I just try to bowl that delivery and it works,” he said.
At the same time, Jadhav agreed with Kohli’s assessment of his bowling. “I feel my bowling is all about reading what batsman is trying to do. The other part is executing what I am trying to do. It is one of those days when I read them well and executed my plans perfectly,” he said.
Jadhav had been employed as a secret weapon last year during the ODI series against New Zealand. Then he took six wickets in three matches while exacting wickets of top order batsmen like Tom Latham, Kane Williamson and Corey Anderson. “I have been bowling in the nets also. Before this game, I had six wickets in ODIs, most of them were pure batsmen and not tail-enders. I had that confidence in my bowling that if a batsman tries to go for big shots, he will find it difficult because of my variations in pace,” he added.