Jadhav proves his worth, again!

Jadhav proves his worth, again!

India's Kedar Jadhav enhanced his candidature for the finisher's role in ODIs. PTI

India were languishing at 99/4 with still more than half the innings left in their chase of Australia's 236/7, in front of a Hyderabad crowd whose voices had been silenced following the dismissals of skipper Virat Kohli, his deputy Rohit Sharma and local boy Ambati Rayudu in quick succession. MS Dhoni's arrival got the fans to their feet but deep inside they were still wary of the fact there wasn't much batting left in hosts' top-heavy line-up.

In the midst of this uncertainty, Kedar Jadhav walked in, appearing as calm as his partner and walked back unconquered having enhanced his candidature for the finisher's role in ODIs. This is not the first time he has done so, but the timing of his unbeaten 81 (87b, 9x4, 1x6), that saw India home with six wickets to spare in the first ODI, couldn't have come at a better time what with the team management busy finalising the middle-order for the World Cup.    

The pocket-sized Jadhav is a near perfect package -- he is gun bat in the middle, capable of anchoring and accelerating at will and as is the requirement. He can bowl six-seven effective overs and on his day get a couple of breakthroughs as well. Though he isn't swiftest on the field, he is not someone who you want to hide. 

With India under pressure on a not so easy surface, the Maharashtra batsman took the innings deep in the company of Dhoni (57 n.o.). There was some turn and bounce on the pitch but the ball was coming on to the bat quite well. The job, though, still had to be done.

Jadhav, looking oblivious to the conditions and situation, made the batting look easy with his controlled aggression. He played a couple of dot balls every over, rotated the strike and picked up the odd boundary to keep the scoring rate from shooting up. 

Jadhav's spot in the 15-man squad for the World Cup is all but confirmed and, not unlike Hardik Pandya, lends great balance to the side with his all-round abilities. The right-hander possesses a healthy average of 43.5 in ODIs, along with an impressive economy rate of 4.9 with the ball. He is an ideal candidate at No 6 Pandya slated to follow him that provides both depth and experience to the line-up.