Kedar Jadhav or Ravindra Jadeja should bat at number seven. This is the view of veteran London-based cricket broadcaster and writer Ashis Ray. India play New Zealand at Old Trafford, Manchester on Tuesday in the semi-final of the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019.
Ray has written a history of the tournament from an Indian perspective, Cricket World Cup: The Indian Challenge, published by Bloomsbury. The book predicts India have the potential to lift the trophy.
"It makes sense to have Kedar Jadhav or Ravindra Jadeja at number seven in the batting order," Ray argued. "Kedar Jadhav averages 43.24, has a strike rate of 100.80 in one-day internationals and can also bowl awkward low off-breaks with a round arm action. Ravindra Jadeja averages 29.92, has a strike rate of 84.23 and is a frontline left-arm orthodox spinner. Whereas Dinesh Karthik averages 30.63, with a strike rate of 73.76," he underlined.
He stated: "With Hardik Pandya quite adequate as a medium pacer, playing Jadeja would give India six bowlers, all of whom can send down their quota of 10 overs if required."
Ray was one of the BBC's ball-by-ball commentators (the only non-white) on the India-England semi-final at the same venue in 1983. On the upcoming India-New Zealand match, he said: "I expect it to be a fresh pitch with perhaps a little more bounce than in India's previous matches. Conditions could also be overcast. This calls for three specialist quicker bowlers. But if India decide to play two spinners, my choice would be Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav."
He maintained: "I would play Yadav instead of Yuzvendra Chahal because of the former's economy and comparatively better record at Old Trafford and to counter left-handers the Black Caps' line-up. I hope Yadav unleashes the googlies he seems to have held back so far in the tournament."