Ravindra Jadeja, the star all-rounder who missed the opening Test against South Africa due to an upper back spasm, appears to be on the verge of a comeback for SA vs IND 2nd Test in Cape Town. His absence in the initial Test was felt, especially in the batting department, prompting anticipation for his return in the upcoming match.
During the warm-up session before Day 3 of the first Test, Jadeja showcased a promising display, appearing unencumbered by any discomfort. He engaged in multiple short strides of 30 to 40 meters and participated in various fitness drills without exhibiting signs of unease.
However, the most encouraging sight was Jadeja’s bowling during the lunch break on the third day. Engaging in a practice session for nearly 20 minutes alongside reserve pacer Mukesh Kumar, he bowled on a practice track under the watchful eye of the team’s strength and conditioning coach. His consistent spot bowling and ability to generate turn highlighted his preparedness, displaying no signs of hesitation or discomfort during the session.
Despite speculations of Jadeja’s return, it seems unlikely that he will replace R Ashwin in the lineup. Ashwin’s commendable performance in the first Test, coupled with Shardul Thakur’s impactful display as the fourth seamer, might prompt the Indian team management to opt for both Ashwin and Jadeja in the upcoming Test. This strategy could potentially provide stability to one end, allowing seamers Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah to strike from the opposite end.
India’s strategic maneuvering continues with the summoning of Avesh Khan, already present in South Africa with the India A team, for the Cape Town Test. This addition hints at potential changes in the bowling attack, leaning toward a configuration with two spinners and three seamers. Additionally, the pitch conditions in Cape Town are anticipated to favor spinners as the match progresses, potentially altering India’s bowling strategy for the crucial encounter.