India captain Ajinkya Rahane heaped praise on Ravindra Jadeja for his contributions in the longest format and admitted that the all-rounder has immensely improved his batting.
"Jadeja has been really good. He has been doing well for us in Test cricket, especially with the bat. Jadeja has improved a lot and that's a massive thing from the team's perspective. When you know that your No. 7 can contribute with the bat, a good score can be achieved," Rahane said on the eve of the third Test in Sydney.
After missing out on the first Test in Adelaide, where the Indian team crumbled for 36-9 in the second innings, Jadeja returned to the side for the second Test in Melbourne. He made an instant impact, scoring 57 runs and bagging three wickets and also left a mark in the fielding department.
"You can see him in the field as well. He has taken brilliant catches and his addition to the team helped us a lot. He has been fantastic," the India captain said.
Always willing to learn
The India captain also had a word of appreciation for the seasoned Ravichandran Ashwin, who has picked 10 wickets in the series so far. "He has great skills, but Ashwin is always looking to learn new things. As cricketers, that's what matters. Happy to see him bowl well and hope he continues that in the next two Test matches," Rahane said, hoping that the 34-year-old delivers in Sydney, which has traditionally been a happy hunting ground for the spinners.
Talking about his captaincy, Rahane said: "As a captain, I am enjoying the role. It is a proud moment for me to lead my country and lead this exciting bunch of guys. There are responsibilities and challenges, but I am enjoying it."
Rahane stepped up as the captain of the Test team after Virat Kohli left for India on paternity leave after the first Test in Adelaide. With the team trailing 0-1, Rahane scored a century in Melbourne as India levelled the series at 1-1.
Problem of plenty
While Rohit Sharma will open the innings in Sydney along with Shubman Gill, Rahane said it is good to have a 'problem of plenty' at the top. Keeping the protocols in mind, the team has travelled with a large squad, which has helped it to make changes in the batting line-up, as and when necessary.
"Because of this COVID life, the teams will travel with 20-22 players on tour now. Whoever is in the team are quality players, it's all about backing them and giving them confidence. It's good to have such a problem," Rahane said.
Rohit, who missed out on the first two Tests, will be replacing an off-colour Mayank Agarwal.
- Vijay Hazare Trophy 2023 LIVE Score, Round 7: Mumbai, Kerala, Bengal, TN fight for quarterfinal spot; Toss updates
- More teams to qualify directly for reshaped Women’s Champions League - UEFA
- ECB launch cricket regulator to tackle discrimination
- Real Madrid defender Carvajal out until next year due to calf injury
- Manchester City charged by FA over player conduct in Spurs draw