Published On: Tue, Dec 29th, 2020

Captain Rahane, coach Shastri to continue playing five bowlers

Melbourne: Both India captain Ajinkya Rahane and coach Ravi Shastri said on Tuesday they will continue with the policy of using five bowlers in the remaining two Test matches of the series after their team defeated Australia in the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Coach Shastri told the media on Tuesday, “Yes we will stick with five bowlers”

India’s fifth bowler, Ravindra Jadeja who played as an all-rounder came good after pacer Umesh Yadav limped off the field early in Australia’s second innings on Monday following pain in his ankle.

India’s other two pace bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and lead spinner R Ashwin were not burdened as Jadeja bowled 14 overs in second innings and picked two wickets.

“That (five-bowler plan) worked well for us nicely. We were thinking of having an all-rounder and Jadeja has been brilliant for us,” said Rahane after the match on Tuesday.

Coach Shastri told the media on Tuesday, “Yes we will stick with five bowlers.”

If Umesh Yadav is not fit, there is a possibility that the Indian team management may have to call one of Navdeep Saini, T Natarajan or Shardul Thakur, for the next Test that starts on January 7. They could also call in Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav.

He called Jadeja a genuine all-rounder who provides buffer against any possible injury to India’s frontline bowlers.

“Jadeja is a genuine all-rounder. That is why he is here. He can bat at 5, he can bat at 6 on a given occasion. He is a genuine all-rounder and that is why he lends a lot of balance to the side. Also when you play overseas, there is a chance of one of the bowlers getting injured like you saw with Umesh,” Shastri added.

“With Jadeja there, it gives balance. It also gives the fast bowlers some respite with Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) and Ash (R Ashwin) doing the bowling.”

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