The All-India Senior Selection Committee had announced the T20 World Cup squad earlier this week, and the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel were making a comeback from their respective injuries. Ravindra Jadeja is not part of the selection, because he was injured during the Asian Cup and had surgery afterwards. Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardena has said the unavailability of Jadeja will be a “major loss” for Team India.
“It’s a challenge. They put him in that number 5 role nicely. He’s fought really well and him and Hardik (Pandya) being in that top six – two guys who can give those all-round options – gave India a lot more flexibility in that batting order,” Jayawardena told The ICC Review.
“It’s hard for them, and probably a concern not to have that left-hander. They’ve moved on to omitting DK (Dinesh Karthik) and bringing in Rishabh (Pant) in that role, hitting 5 or 4. Those are things they have to arrange to go to the World Cup. But if they don’t have Jadeja, the form he was in, it will be a huge loss for them,” he added.
A positive point for India is the form of Virat Kohli. The right-handed batter was in exceptional form in the Asian Cup, where he scored his first T20I ton in a game against Afghanistan. This was Kohli’s first international century since November 2019.
“He was there and therefore quite a lot,” Jayawardena said. “He just didn’t have that big of a score to get that confidence, especially in white ball cricket, which always will happen. There have been a few injury concerns in the last 12 months. He had minor niggles and they rested him and India continued to give people peace of mind, with the workload they had. So not having that consistent run also makes it difficult,” Jayawardena said.
“In the Asian Cup he hit well, showed what he is capable of, especially in that batting position. Moving forward for India, having that stability in that lineup and confidence that a man like Virat will be a factor will are also a concern for the opponent. It’s good to see him hit like that. We need all these brilliant players to be in their best form in a World Cup, and that’s what the World Cup deserves. at that level. It will be a fascinating World Cup in Australia,” he added.
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