Kingston (Jamaica), Aug 31 (IANS) Ravindra Jadeja’s improved batting and control on a flat deck has helped him get picked ahead of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI against the West Indies, India head coach Ravi Shastri said here on Saturday.
“Look at Jaddu, his record is fabulous. You have to see what he brings to the table. He is probably best fielder in the world now and he has improved his batting like hell,” Shastri told former England cricketer Graeme Swann in an interview for hosts bradcaster Sony.
“And if you see these tracks (North Sound and Kingston). From what I have seen of this track (Kingston), I don’t think there would be much on offer for the spinners where you would need control,” said Shastri.
“The reason why we picked Jadeja in the first Test, was in case we fielded, and the track was damp, with his pace, he would have made life little awkward for the batsmen. He could have been used on the first session of play on Day One.
Terming Ashwin as world class and admitting it was a difficult call to make, Shastri said: “That was the reason why we picked Jadeja even though Ash (Ashwin) is a world-class spinner. It is difficult decision to leave out Ashwin or Kuldeep (Yadav).”
Jadeja scored a defiant half-century and took two wickets in the first Test, helping India win by 318 runs in Antigua.