The thought behind leaving Ravindra Jadeja out of the Perth Test is getting darker. Soon after the defeat, captain Virat Kohli specified that the four-stage attack was chosen purely in conditions and not in physical form, that he would have forgotten the spinner Ravichandran Ashwin even if he was fit, which means that Jadeja does not have a chance to play.
But three days before the third test, coach Ravi Shastri contradicted the captain and gave a new turn to the debate, saying that Jadeja was only "70-80% fit" in Perth and carrying a stiff neck on the shoulders of home cricket. Thus, in trying to defend the gaffe of the selection, he questioned a number of issues, from the player's injury management system to the contradiction between coach and captain voices, workload management, and the tendency to coward . injuries.
The team has been criticized, especially from former home cricket players, for playing a four-pitch rhythm attack on the Perth test where a spinner was much forgotten. Since Ashwin was ruled out due to an injury, the obvious alternative was Jadeja. But Shastri, with his characteristic and enthusiastic style, came up with a reason: "The problem with Jaddu was that he had injected four days to Australia because of some stiffness in his shoulder, and it took a while for that injection. to settle down. So when you look at Perth, we think it's about 70% to 80%, and we do not want to risk it. "
What is even more shocking is that despite the rigidity, which according to Shastri Jadeja chose before a domestic game – he played only one between the West Indies series and Australia, where he scored an invincible 178 and rolled 64 titles – flight to Australia. It was not as if management was not aware of his injury, but they thought, at least according to Shastri, that he would recover in time for the series. "When he came here, he felt some stiffness, and he felt it in India too, but he played domestic cricket after that. It has been injected again and takes time to resolve. It took longer than we expected and we wanted to be careful. We do not want a scenario where the player withdraws after five or ten overs in a test, "explained Shastri.
So was it a case of them to take the injury lightly, or were they blind to the risk of carrying a bruised player with a cloud of uncertainty always hovering over them? Both are risky.
A fully fit player brings more safety than a semi-apt, and there was already a back-up in the form of Kuldeep Yadav. So does this also infer management's lack of faith in Kuldeep's abilities? Besides, it could only aggravate Jadeja's injury.
More bizarrely, Jadeja, despite the injury, was actively involved in the scheme of things. Since landing in Australia, he has played the only training game against Cricket Australia XI, pitched 11 overs but did not hit, rolled relentlessly in training, entered as a substitute player for a cumulative 45 overs in both combined tests. in the 13-member team for the Perth test, and was on the field in the background, singing precise bids. It is strange that a player who breastfeeds an injury is dispatched to the depths, especially where the limits are greater than in the subcontinent. That stinks of maladministration.
A thought now in workload management. Although Jadeja has only played one of the tests abroad of India this year, her preparation for the series in Australia was hectic, which started with the Asian Cup and ended with the unique game of Ranji against Railways. He played both tests and four of the five ODIs against the West Indies.
So if he had chosen shoulder stiffness before Ranji's installation, as Shastri revealed, he might have been advised to rest by the administration or the doctors, who were supposedly monitoring the players. After all, unlike players who came back from bruises, he was under no obligation to prove his fitness by playing first-class matches before being given the chance to be chosen for the Indian team, a policy created by former coach Anil Kumble.
Kumble's measure was well-intentioned, but it is also prone to manipulation. He has reached a stage where a player runs from his injury, plays a solitary first-class game and is back on the team.
Finally, the contradictions in the statements of Shastri and Kohli. Kohli clearly mentioned that it was the conditions that led to the four-turn non-turn strategy while Shastri continued to think of Jadeja's ability to say that it was his only dilemma before the Perth Test. This is not the first time that they contradict one another's opinions. For example, after losing in South Africa, Shastri lamented the lack of practice games while Kohli felt they were prepared. It's a different story that India continued to play warming games as if they were glorified network sessions. He agreed that Shastri and Kohli may have different perceptions, but one would expect a uniformity in matters pertaining to the team.
What she leaves is a very large Indian retinue, reduced to a shrunken group. Three of them have problems with injuries (Ashwin, Jadeja and Rohit Sharma), one came back from a concussion and played a first class match (Hardik Pandya), one of them has not played any first class since January (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) who landed just five days before the Boxing Day Test (Mayank Agarwal). Add to the worries a couple of inaugurations under fire and India seemed to have disengaged suddenly after the discharge of Adelaide. But what does Shastri say? "We have to do what's best for the team, as simple as that."