India part-time bowler Kedar Jadhav put in a vital shift for his team in their semi-final win over Bangladesh at Edgbaston.
Bangladesh were crusing at 142 for 2 after 25 overs but Jadhav would change all that snapping up the vital wickets of Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim.
The 32-year-old employed frequent changes of pace with his off-break bowling and rpoved to be tricky to get away.
Bangladesh were looking to break the 300 barrier but by the end of Jadhav’s six over spell they had slipped to 183 for 5 in 36 overs and could only reach 264 a total India easily eclipsed with just one wicket down.
Speaking after the match Jadhav said: “Actually, when I looked at the wicket, it was pretty flat. So I knew that as long as I don’t bowl with the same pace, they won’t be able to hit me.
“The main thing while bowling was to keep changing your pace as per the batsmen. The major part in my bowling is reading the batsman’s mind. As per that, I have to vary my pace. As long as I’m sticking to the line of the stumps, it’s always a risk for them: if you miss, you’re going to get out.
“You need to keep changing the pace, to make it difficult for batsmen to read you, whether to play on the front foot or back foot. That is the challenge and my strength is to vary speed.”
Jadhav knows that his greatest strength as a bowler is being underrated by the batsman who will look to hammer what some pundits might describe as utter filth.
But he is a better bowler than it appears on the surface and the experience of the IPL has helped him in situations where batsmen are well set.
He added: “Whenever there is a partnership going on, I get more opportunities.
“Because you need to break that partnership. I’m not a regular bowler, so people take me lightly and go after me, and that is where I get a lot of wickets I guess. The moment you play me as a pure bowler, that is where you will be able to score. If you play me as a part-timer, you’ll find it difficult.
“Virat just wanted me to bowl some three-four economical overs.
“If a fast bowler has a bad day, he makes it up by my overs. That was the plan. The wickets came because I could read the batsmen. That is my major point I feel. I bowled to my gut feeling, and it worked on this particular day.”
Jadhav credited MS Dhoni with helping develop him as a bowler by giving him a role with the ball in the series against New Zealand in 2016.
He continued: “It was MS Dhoni’s call to throw the ball to me in the New Zealand series. In my second over itself on the international stage I got a wicket, and from there it was just to read the situation and what the batsman is looking for, and not give them easy runs.
“My instinct has increased after bowling. I feel bowling has two departments: one is to read the batsman, and the second is to execute what you want to. I guess I’m pretty much doing both, so that is why it was working for me.”
Jadhav insists that India won’t be doing too much different in the final against Pakistan.
He went on: “It will be a good match. We have already played them once.
“But every game we play is with the same intensity. Yes, it’s a final, but we won’t be doing anything different. We’ll be doing the same things we have been doing in this tournament.”
What do we want? More switch hits. When do we want them? Soon.
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