Suspended from the third Test, all- rounder Ravindra Jadeja was seen having discussions with chief coach Ravi Shastri even as the rest of the Indian cricket team enjoyed an off day after its thumping win in the second match. Amid the disappointment of missing out on the match, there was some consolation for Jadeja as he edged out Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan to claim the numero uno spot among all-rounders in the latest ICC Test rankings.
As the Indian players relaxed at their hotel here or went out simply taking some time off, the left-arm spinner spent the evening with Shastri and other members of the support staff.
It was not known what transpired but Shastri has been a thoroughly acknowledged motivator for the players in rough times.
Jadeja has a somewhat tumultuous past in terms of discipline. There was the 2014 incident at Nottingham when on his first tour to England, clashing with pacer James Anderson in the pavilion.
Then skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni had stood his ground in support of Jadeja as it escalated into a small diplomatic crisis. In the end, both Anderson and Jadeja escaped punishment, with the latter losing 50 percent of his match fee back then (later repealed).
The spinner has lost a similar amount of his match fee for the second Test but what will rankle him more is the chance to get onto the field as the No.1 bowler/all-rounder as he serves the suspension.
This particular suspension also comes about as the result of accruing demerit points. Jadeja already had three points after he was found guilty of ‘running in and damaging the protected area of the pitch’ in the third Test against New Zealand at Indore last October.
India wrapped a second consecutive Test series’ win in Sri Lanka after winning the second Test at the SSC in Colombo by an innings and 53 runs.
The visitors had won the first Test at Galle by 304 runs, and both victories have come comfortably within four days. It is a repeat of India’s 2-1 series win here in 2015, only this time the lead going into the third and final Test in Pallekele (starting August 12) is an unassailable 2-0.
For the first time in a long while, an Indian team stands on the cusp of a series whitewash away from home. The match could another chance for young Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav to prove his mettle just like he did on his debut against Australia earlier this year.
It is also to be noted that India haven’t really played ‘away’ from home conditions in a peculiar way. Since 2015, they have only toured either Lanka or West Indies, and played a long season at home.
India tour South Africa, England and Australia next, conditions and opposition that are sure to test both their skipper’s and the team’s resolve.