Kedar Jadhav, the pint-sized batting all-rounder can wallop the ball with sweet timing and power. A late bloomer, it was only in the wake of the last ICC World Cup in Australia and New Zealand that he sealed a place in the Indian limited-overs squad, though he had made his India debut a few months before that tournament. Clearly, he has enjoyed himself immensely at every opportunity, if not with the bat, with the ball.
Despite being a naturally aggressive batsman, he can rein in his penchant for strokeplay until late in the innings. The 34-year-old can pace the innings in keeping with the demands of the situation. And it is this selfless quality that helped secure his place in the World Cup squad. He can play the big shots on either side of the pitch with assurance, teasing the fielders. If he gets to play some games ahead of Vijay Shankar or KL Rahul, he will be at the crucial No 6 slot and managing the innings.
Some of his partnerships with Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli have been crucial in managing the fortunes of the Indian line-up. Most recently, Dhoni and he have won matches against Australia in Melbourne and Hyderabad. During these partnerships with the more experienced pros, he has shown a willingness to learn and incorporate those learnings in his own game.
Jadhav's ability to pick up wickets with his off-spin bowling, delivered with a round-arm action from different trajectories, has fetched him 27 one-day international scalps. While his strike-rate will not set the Thames on fire, but his economy rate is pretty handy for the Indian side, especially since he can send down his overs quite quickly. If the pitches in England are dry, Kedar Jadhav’s off-spin may be pressed into service quite often.
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Given the nature of the last few series between these teams, it would be naive to think too far ahead; but all factors considered, India will know they have some clawing back to do when they step out at the SCG on day two.
Australia will be bolstered by the return of David Warner, while India will hope for Rohit Sharma to provide solid start. With the series locked at 1-1, there's lot to play for in Sydney for both teams.
India, after conceding a 33-run first innings lead, bundled out Australia for 294, with pacers Mohammed Siraj (5/73) and Shardul Thakur (4/61) doing the bulk of the damage.