Dean Jones: India should give Ravindra Jadeja game-time before World Cup semifinals

Dean Jones, former Australian batsman and currently a panellist on Star Sports Select Dugout, wants India to use the final league match against Sri Lanka to get ready for the semifinal.

Ravindra Jadeja should play in place of a wristspinner for India against England.   -  Reuters

In all likelihood, Australia will defeat South Africa, and India will get past Sri Lanka easily. So that means that India will take on England in the semifinal, at Birmingham.

India should use this Sri Lanka outing to get ready for the semifinal. I don’t think India has the right team balance to take on England. They need to give Ravindra Jadeja a game. The reason for this is that I will not include two wrist spinners against England. The English batsmen have played wrist spin better
than any other team in this World Cup. They hit Rashid Khan for 10 an over; Yuzvendra Chahal went at 9 an over. Kuldeep Yadav, Shadab Khan and Imran Tahir went for more than 6.5 per over. So it’s quite clear that they’re smashing wrist-spin. I would pick Jadeja, and drop either Kuldeep or Chahal.

Jason Roy presents a big challenge for India. Roy is the instigator; the heart of the England team. If India fail to get him early, it will be very tough to stop England. But if India can keep Roy quiet, they will go on to win the World Cup.

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The Indian batting has been led by Rohit Sharma. Rohit is in the form of his life, but he has to be a little mindful of the hook and pull shots.

As for the Virat Kohli show, we haven’t seen it yet, but it’s coming very soon. Kohli has got a lot of fifties, but hasn’t converted. India will want him to bat deep and make a big one. The skipper is in great form, and the pressure of playing in the World Cup is not new to him. He’s been there, done that. Maybe Kohli needs to prove to Rohit that the competition for best batsman in the world is not over yet.

The fans always remember the last bit of a big tournament like this, not the first phase. What a player does in the final stages is what will be remembered forever.

(Tune in to Select Dugout on Star Sports Select 1 on India matchdays and Sundays)