Why Ravindra Jadeja Was Promoted To No.6 Ahead of SKY In The 2023 World Cup Final
Ravindra Jadeja came out to bat at No.6 in the 2023 World Cup final in Ahmedabad today (November 19), one place higher than he was originally slated to come in, and ahead of Suryakumar Yadav – here’s why.
When Virat Kohli chopped a ball from Pat Cummins onto his stumps having reached yet another half-century, India found themselves 148-4 with more than 21 overs left to bat. The expected order would have seen Suryakumar Yadav come out to join KL Rahul at the crease. Instead, it was Ravindra Jadeja who walked out to the middle.
There are a couple of reasons for his promotion up the order. Firstly, Jadeja bats left-handed while Yadav uses his right. As whoever came out would be partnering Rahul, who is right-handed, a left-hander joining him would be preferable.
Secondly, the situation of the match would also have been a factor. Kohli and Rahul had built a a 67-run partnership off 109 balls. It took them 97 balls to register the first (and only) boundary of the partnership. With Rahul having come in when India were teetering on the verge of collapse at 81-3 in the 11th over, conserving wickets was the priority.
Given that India had scored at such a high rate in the powerplay, if Kohli and Rahul could stay in and accumulate runs there was still a high chance of setting Australia a big total to chase. An explosion at the end of the innings when wickets are less important would be more effective if India still had some batters to come in the final powerplay.
Yadav has struggled for form in the World Cup so far. His high score is currently 49 against England, and he was out for one in his last innings against New Zealand. His strength lies in big-hitting and his role for India is far more effective as an innings-finisher rather than accumulating runs through the middle overs.
Jadeja, however, can be relied upon to rotate the strike and score steady runs in a critical period for India, and he has had a decent World Cup with the bat, averaging 40 at above a run a ball after his form had been a concern coming into the tournament. While he’s also capable of upping the strike-rate in the death overs, he is more effective during the middle, and in this particular situation, than Yadav.
Jadeja was dismissed for nine off 22 balls, with Yadav walking to the crease at that point.
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First appeared on wisden.com