India vs Australia: Jayant Yadav's big chance to seal his place in the side
Jayant Yadav will look to evolve from a 'golden find' to a regular in the Test team, for which he needs to continue with the same consistency as in the England Tests.
The Indian cricket team is enjoying a purple patch as far as its form in Test cricket is concerned. Having risen to the top of the Test rankings with utter domination.
There are a number of things that have clicked for the Indians that have contributed to their success, starting with indomitable form of Virat Kohli and then Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja 's destruction of the opponents.
However, the last six months have also been about the emergence of young stars from the Indian domestic circuit, and their success along with that of the team’s makes for a great story.
One of the said emerging stars happens to be Jayant Yadav, the young off-spinner from Delhi. Jayant had a very good series against England but missed out against Bangladesh as India opted for three pacers. He will now look to get back in the race with the upcoming Test series against Australia.
Jayant's domestic debut stretches back to the 2011 season, in which he impressed in his very first game for Haryana, snaring six Gujarat batsmen in the Ranji Trophy match. While he faded off for a bit after a decent debut, if wasn’t until the next season that he hit headlines again, slamming a double-century while sharing a 392-run partnership with Amit Mishra — someone he would be competing with for a slot in the Test team years later.
Among his other noteworthy first-class performances was his four-wicket haul for India A against the visiting Englishmen during the latter’s 2012-13 tour of India, with skipper Alastair Cook being one of his victims.
One consistent performance in the domestic circuit after another led to an Indian Premier League (IPL) contract, with the Delhi Daredevils signing him for a sum of Rs 10 lakh in the 2014 edition, although he would get a game only after a year-long wait.
While he earned a call-up to the Zimbabwe-bound Indian limited-overs squad in the summer of 2016, lady luck did not smile upon him by handing him his debut.
It wasn't until the final One-Day International (ODI) against New Zealand at Visakhapatnam that he got to make his big international debut, in which he captured the wicket of Corey Anderson while giving away eight runs in a four-over spell. It would turn out to be his only ODI in the end.
His performance in the subsequent Test series against England, turned out to be a career-changing one for him. Making his debut, in third Test at Mohali, he showcased his value with the bat down the order aside from getting crucial breakthroughs, making him the third musketeer alongside Ashwin and Jadeja.
His century at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, with Virat Kohli notching up his career-best score at the other end, was perhaps his best moment in the series, and even of his cricketing career so far.
His performances in the England series earned him praise from chairman of selectors MSK Prasad, who called him a “true-blue” product of the India ‘A’ system. His performances in the Ranji Trophy aside, it was his stint with the Rahul Dravid-coached India ‘A’ that also played part in his national selection.
“The true blue products of India 'A' system are Karun Nair and Jayant Yadav. I believe it is the emphasis on A tour by the BCCI that we are now finding finished and ready for international cricket players like Karun and Jayant,” Prasad was quoted as saying after the conclusion of the India-England Test series.
With Pune likely to offer more turn than Hyderabad, Jayant seems a certainty for getting game time, at least as far as the first Test is concerned. Jayant certainly has been a gem of a find for the Indian team. It’s time he goes one notch above from being termed ‘find’, and becomes a regular in the Test side, before shifting focus to the other formats. The upcoming series would be an ideal platform to pursue that goal.
He characterised the talks with Test captain Tim Paine, limited overs skipper Aaron Finch and their deputy Pat Cummins as "the best conversations I've had with players in my 10 years as a coach".
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