The Indian team will see one more change to their line-up for the ODIs against
the English side, as they take in Ravindra Jadeja into the squad, who replaces
the injured Gautam Gambhir. Gambhir was indisposed from the ODIs after his head
hit the ground while he attempted to take a catch.
The incident happened in the fourth Test match between India and England
at the Oval and led to the side struggling without an opener in the game. Rahul
Dravid had to open the innings for the side and Gambhir batted way down the
batting order in the game.
This will allow Jadeja to play his first ever game in the year, after his last
international had come in the last year. He had played in an ODI against New Zealand
in December 2010. However, he was dropped for the tour of South Africa before
not being selected for the World Cup.
Jadeja has been in form recently in the Buchi Babu competition, having scored
many runs and picked up wickets as well. His batting average in the competition
for Saurashtra is 70 this season while he has picked his wickets at less than
15 runs to the wicket.
It remains to be seen whether he will make it to the playing 11 though. For now,
the top-order looks fairly settled and unless the side loses the first few games,
there is a good chance that Jadeja would end up warming the benches.
It is interesting to see that the injured player Gambhir is an opening batsman
whereas the replaced player in an all-rounder who bats at the number seven position
in this format of the game. This could mean that the Indian management thinks
that the Indian side has enough number of openers; Sachin Tendulkar,
Ajinkya Rahane and Parthiv Patel, while what they lack is an all-rounder.
There was a chance for two other all-rounders to take up that slot, Yusuf and
Irfan Pathan. However, the selectors have gone in for Jadeja, who can bowl his
quota of ten overs more regularly than the Pathan brothers. Yusuf is a much better
bat than Jadeja but fails to bowl well; in fact, with Raina and Rohit Sharma there,
it wouldn't make too much sense to have Pathan bowl here.
On the other hand, Irfan has been out of form for some time and while there were
glimpses of returning back to form in the IPL, he did not do as well as some may