Last month, Jayant Yadav was receiving his one-day international cap from former India opener Virender Sehwag in Visakhapatnam. He would not have thought just three weeks later, he will be receiving his Test cap at the same ground.
On Thursday, the Haryana off-spinner became the 286th cricketer to play Test cricket for India as he made his debut against England in the second Test in Vizag. He replaced his Haryana team-mate Amit Mishra in the playing XI for India. And on the second day, Yadav picked up his first wicket with the dismissal of Moeen Ali to an lbw decision that was ascertained after a review.
Ali looked to defend and had it hit pad-bat and the umpire’s decision stood at not out but the debutant was convinced of it being something and Virat Kohli provided the confidence needed. On further look, it was definitely hitting the pad first and going on to hit the leg stump. A successful review, called by Jayant himself, gives him his first Test wicket.
Jayant, 26, made his ODI debut in the fifth match against New Zealand in Vizag and took one wicket. This was a match where Mishra picked up a five-for as India bowled out New Zealand for 78.
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Jayant has played 42 first-class matches and picked up 117 wickets at average of just below 30. He is also a handy lower order batsman and has two centuries in his first-class career.
In Wednesday’s pre-match presser, Kohli talked about how Mishra’s mental unpreparedness works against him and he also said that this series is not where we can groom any player.
“Obviously in a series where you are playing against a top side, there is very less room for grooming people as such, if you get what I am saying. You need to figure out as a captain how comfortable you are with the guys you are going to take the field with and how mentally prepared and aware they are walking into the field and how confident they are in picking up those wickets for you. What you mentioned is something that can happen to any bowler, being out of rhythm or not having a good game. But eventually you have to figure out over a span of two or three days how the individual is feeling, how he is behaving, what his energies are like. So it is very important to observe all those things walking into a game against a top side because you need 11 players who are on the same page and who are aware and ready to go into battle. You can’t have people who are not quite there mentally,” he said.
He also hinted at Jayant’s inclusion but didn’t make it clear.
“The management group and obviously we would like to take the best possible 11 on to the field and the best bowlers who are mentally ready to pick up 20 wickets for us,” he said.