In the first Test match in Nottingham, India were in the driver’s seat before rain stopped play as the visitors lost the opportunity to go one up against England in the five match Test series. India were the much better side in the first Test but the decision to play Ravindra Jadeja to play ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin raised quite a few eyebrows. Recently, former Indian cricketer Venkatapathy Raju was one among many in the cricket fraternity who criticized the team management for dropping Ashwin.
Jadeja trumped Ashwin into the playing XI due to his better ability with the bat and his world-class fielding. The 32-year-old has credited skipper Virat Kohli and his high fitness regime for improvement of his and the entire Indian team’s fielding performance. Ever since Virat Kohli took over as India captain, the bar has been set very high as far as the level of fitness in the team is concerned.
“Yes, I am one of the best fielders in the world. But I don’t take anything for granted, I keep working on my game and my fitness. I do a lot of shoulder exercises and running for that, for instance. That’s how I maintain my fitness, which helps me on the field,” Jadeja told TimesofIndia.com.
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“Virat definitely has been very enthusiastic, proactive, and fit. He believes a lot in fitness as well, so everyone has to raise their fielding standards. Everyone in the team has been working on their fitness, that’s why you can see the difference on the field now,” he added.
In the first Test, though he failed to get a single wicket but he was good with the bat and his knock of 56 helped India take a lead in the first innings.
Now, the second Test start tomorrow at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground, a venue where India have traditionally not done very well and now with Shardul Thakur out of the picture and the pitch likely to be on the greener side, India’s task becomes much more difficult.
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India have won a Test series in England only three times – in 1971 (under Ajit Wadekar’s captaincy), in 1986 (under Kapil Dev’s captaincy), and in 2007 (under Rahul Dravid’s captaincy).
Since 2007, India have toured England three times – in 2011, 2014, and 2018 – but failed to clinch the series.
However, Team India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja believes that the visitors have a good chance of winning the Test match series in England.
“I think we have a big, bright chance to win this series this time because we have a very good team. As far as batting, bowling and fast bowling are concerned, we have a very good balanced team. So yes, we have a good chance to win the series in England,” Jadeja told TimesofIndia.com before leaving for England.
India have been on a good run in Test cricket in 2021, out of the eight Test Match played, India have won four and lost two Test matches, including the World Test Championship final against New Zealand.
“We won in Australia back-to-back. Now we are in England and the conditions are totally different from those in Australia. Here, the ball swing a lot and you have to play accordingly. You have to be very smart in your game… If we prepare well and focus, then we have a very good chance this time,” Jadeja added.
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