Former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni spotted the gritty nature and unusual bowling action of India’s new sensation Kedar Jadhav, who Indian cricketing legend Sunil Gavaskar termed him as ‘street smart’, and turned him into an excellent utility player. Kedar Jadhav might lack the star-quality and the grace to capture the eyeballs but he has turned his recent performances into match-winning ones and he remembers how MS Dhoni turned him into an important bowler in the team apart from his batting prowess.
"It was in Dharamsala where Dhoni asked me to bowl in the New Zealand series. From then, my life has changed completely," Jadhav remembered following India’s dominating win against Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2018 on Wednesday.
India’s chances took a major turn after flamboyant all-rounder Hardik Pandya was stretchered off after suffering a back injury, however, it was Kedar Jadhav who took the responsibility on his shoulders and crushed Pakistan’s batting backbone following his best ODI figures of 3-23.
Jadhav’s unusual action bamboozled Pakistan’s batters as he confused them with his trajectory and pace constantly.
"We had prepared well for the two main bowlers (Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav), but fell to the third (Jadhav)," said Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed.
Jadhav had already made his mark as a brilliant batsman after he scored a century in his fourth ODI against Zimbabwe in 2015. But it was MS Dhoni, who spotted his unusual ‘Malinga-like action’ and gave the ball to him during the home series against New Zealand in 2016. He bagged six wickets in that series and garnered praises from the cricketing fraternity.
Jadhav’s nine overs against Pakistan were the second-most that he has bowled in his career. He has completed the 10-over quota only once in his 42 ODI appearances. But one thing is for sure, that he will chip in with the best of his abilities and his low-arm action to confuse opponents when needed the most.
India play Bangladesh in the Super Four Match of the ongoing Asia Cup 2018 at the Dubai International Stadium today (September 21).