The all-rounder wizard of Indian cricket team received the shock of life when he was confided in the fact that he has been held aloof from the ongoing ODI following his hamstring injury in the final of the Asia Cup last month.
His awestruck drill in readiness for Deodhar Trophy game at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Thursday (October 25) morning was soothing enough to see.
However, the day turned sour for the all-rounder when he was apprised that he wasn’t part of the squad announced for the last three ODIs against West Indies. The team was announced in the afternoon when he was fielding.
Expressing surprise over his omission, he said, “I need to see why they didn’t pick me. I have cleared all tests and that’s why I played the match today. I am match fit. Unless you clear all the tests, you shouldn’t be picked for any matches and since I was fit the selectors asked me to play the Deodhar game. If I am not in the Indian team, I’ll focus on playing Ranji Trophy.”
While Jadhav was asked to join the India ‘A’ team as late as Wednesday evening, the Indian team was picked at around midnight the same day. The selectors couldn’t have picked Jadhav without testing him out in a match. Ostensibly he has played a game, he could even be drafted in for the fourth ODI.
Interestingly, the confusion should have been avoided when the selectors called up Jadhav on Wednesday. None of the three selectors present at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Thursday even spoke to him before the start of the game.
Over the last few weeks, national selectors have been battling insinuations of a lack of communication from players who have been ignored for national duty. However, chairman of selectors MSK Prasad clarified that his team had to keep in mind Jadhav’s frequent breakdowns.
This was the second time in six months that Jadhav has picked up a hamstring injury. He missed the almost the entire IPL 2018 after suffering an injury in the tournament opener. He suffered a similar injury while batting in the Asia Cup. He had cleared all his fitness tests at the NCA in Bengaluru before he was flown to Delhi for the Deodhar Trophy game.
While Prasad remained noncommittal about when Jadhav could make a comeback, he added that Jadhav remained an integral part of the plans for the World Cup. “He will come back to the team. There is no doubt about his ability. I will have a word with him and convey how we plan to manage him,” he said.
Jadhav, on his part, expressed his disappointment at getting injured frequently. “It’s very important to be honest with physios and trainers. Whatever your body tells you, you should convey it to the physios. You can’t hide things. I expect the same honesty from their side,” he claimed.
“You can’t afford to be cautious when you come back. As long as people at the NCA clear you, you shouldn’t have any doubt. Once I get a clearance from NCA, I don’t hold back.”