IPL 2019: Jayant Yadav makes instant impact on return to Mumbai Indians XI

Jayant Yadav was Mumbai Indians' sole change in the line-up from the victory over Kolkata Knight Riders.

Jayant Yadav celebrates removing Suresh Raina with Suryakumar Yadav.   -  AFP

Jayant Yadav responded brilliantly to being picked in the Mumbai Indians playing XI for the first qualifier of IPL 2019 against Chennai Super Kings at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium. He was picked to exploit the dry, spinner-friendly conditions and the Haryana off-spinner didn't look out of place when he was given the ball in the third over, given the high-stakes match he was coming into the team for and particularly when the change was specific for the conditions.

The team management brought him in for Mitchell McClenaghan, who had bowled an economical spell in Mumbai's last league fixture against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede Stadium. Coming to Chennai, a change in the Mumbai line-up was expected, with Anukul Roy, who played the second league fixture between these teams at the same venue, named as a potential candidate the replace the New Zealand left-arm pacer.

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The inclusion of Jayant was surprising, given that CSK has five right-handers in its top seven (Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja are the only left-handers), but the move was a bold one at the same time.

Jayant began his spell with a no-ball and the unenviable start to his spell was compounded by Mumbai inadvertently having a third fielder outside the circle in the powerplay. One free-hit was followed by another and Raina flat-batted the off-spinner down the ground. At that moment, the pressure was enormous, and on another day, Jayant could have been taken for runs in his first over.

Jayant, though, regathered himself, and bowled a dot ball after being taken for six runs off one legitimate delivery. With sharp, quick turn on offer from the Chepauk pitch, Jayant didn't have to bowl extravagantly to prise out a wicket. A marginal change in length and line did the trick for him: he dismissed Raina with a length delivery just outside off-stump and Raina, perhaps trying to transfer the pressure after losing Faf du Plessis early, got the left-hander to miscue his attempted loft over the infield. Jayant ran back and took the catch off his bowling, making an instant impact on his return to the playing XI. Jayant, who has one Test century to his name, had played only one match for Mumbai previously this season, having been brought into the XI for the away fixture against Delhi Capitals.

On the field too, Jayant made a vital contribution by back-pedalling to take the catch to remove Watson off the bowling of Krunal Pandya.