'Ravindra Jadeja Is Not Your Finisher...': Aakash Chopra Address 'Elephant In Room' As India Begin Their Campaign Against Ireland

June 06,2024

As India prepares to kickstart their ICC T20 World Cup campaign against Ireland in a Group A clash, former opener Aakash Chopra has voiced concerns over the finishing abilities of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. India, the inaugural T20 World Cup champions from 2007, are eager to end their ICC trophy drought, having last won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013. With the spotlight on their opening match against Ireland, Chopra's comments underscore a critical area for the team to address.

Hosting JioCinema's sports show, Chopra said, "Ravindra Jadeja is not your finisher. We thrust him in that role, but he is not very good at it. We have not even accepted the fact that he is not a good finisher and that is a problem."

Jadeja could score only four runs in six balls during the warm-up match against Bangladesh, failing to hit some fours and sixes that could have taken India to a bigger score. In 14 games of the IPL 2024, Jadeja scored 267 runs at an average of 44.50 and a strike rate of 142.78, with one half-century. His best score was 57*. However, during the recently-concluded IPL, his hitting and consistency as a finisher in the final few overs of the game came under a scanner after some failures.

Jadeja's overall T20I stats are- 480 runs in 36 innings across 66 matches at an average of 22.85 and a strike rate of over 125. He is yet to hit a half-century in this format, with the best score of 46.

Aakash said that another concern for India is the form of another all-rounder Shivam Dube, who has been cold since the second half of the Indian Premier League (IPL), but the positive signs include the form of key players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant and Suryakumar Yadav.

"Another concern is our fielding, which I think could be problematic," he added.

Talking about the approach that the Men in Blue need to take against Ireland, Aakash said that the ball at New York's Nassau County Cricket Stadium has been acting up and India will have to take a few wickets in the powerplay and also bat well with the new ball.

"If either one of those things does not work out, your morale can break. If you want to beat Ireland, you must not lose more than one wicket in the first six overs. Second, take two wickets at the start of your bowling, and then control the game with your spin," he added.