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ICC Champions Trophy 2017: We knew Kedar Jadhav would get us few dot balls but he changed the game, says Virat Kohli

Going in, in the 28th over, the spinner got rid of daunting Tamim Iqbal and subsequently, Mushfiqur, in the 36th over. The slow, tossed up, less turning off spin ramped up a figure of 6-0-22-2 as the Tigers suffered to 179/5. Kedar managed to bowl 18 dot balls, 17 of them being to left-handers.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Jun 17, 2017, 12:22 PM IST
ICC Champions Trophy 2017: We knew Kedar Jadhav would get us few dot balls but he changed the game, says Virat Kohli
Reuters, PTI

New Delhi: Going into Thursday's semi-final against Bangladesh, Kedar Jadhav, have so far had fewer opportunities to prove his worth. Taken into the team to ease out on the immense pressure on Mahendra Singh Dhoni to finish off the game, Kedar had so far been able to bat just 13 deliveries where he notched up three boundaries and a single six to score 25 runs, against Sri Lanka.

On the field, his fielding hasn't been at par with the team's performance which boasts the likes of some stupendous fielders like Ravindra Jadeja and Yuvraj Singh. And, being an occasional off-spinner, he has been given the opportunity to spin in just three overs, against the Lankans. Well, he gave away just a single boundary, with figures standing as 0/18.

If one could recall the England-home series, earlier this year, Kedar's performance was worth applauding. His splendid 200-run partnership alongside skipper Virat Kohli in the first ODI, where Kedar smashed 120 runs off 125 deliveries, and then his knock of 118 balls-90, in the final match earned him the player of the series award. Thus the immense hope that Virat has on this aggressive middle-order batsman.

Heading into Thursday's semi-final, India were a definite favourite. Winning the toss and putting the Tigers to bowl first, Bhuvneshwar Kumar toppled down Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman well within first power-play to reduce their opponents to 31/2 in seven overs.

In walked Mushfiqur Rahim, and alongside opener Tamim Iqbal the duo spun a lethal counter attack adding onto the concern of the defending champion. Usual spin attackers R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja couldn't help but see each of their deliveries being whistled away to the boundaries. And for Hardik Pandya, he failed to befriend luck.

Virat turned to Kedar Jadhav. And rest was a complete game changer. In the post match conference, Virat revealed, "I won’t take the whole credit for this bowling change as I asked MS (Dhoni) as well and we both decided that Kedar is a good option at the moment and he bowled really well. He doesn’t bowl much in the nets but he is smart cricketer. He knows where the batsmen will get troubled and he thinks like a batter when he is bowling. It is always an advantage to any bowler if he thinks like that."

Going in, in the 28th over, the spinner got rid of daunting Tamim Iqbal and subsequently, Mushfiqur, in the 36th over. The slow, tossed up, less turning off spin ramped up a figure of 6-0-22-2 as the Tigers suffered to 179/5. Kedar managed to bowl 18 dot balls, 17 of them being to left-handers.

"Wickets were obviously a bonus. Hardik went for a few in his first three so we wanted to give him a bit of a break and cover up the overs through Kedar. We knew that he would get us few dot balls but ended up turning the whole game for us," Virat added.

Remembering Tamim's wicket, Kedar narrated, "I saw him once or twice he was looking for big shots so pushed two or three balls quicker," he said. "Then I knew he is waiting for the slower one, so I kept it slightly on a shorter side so he wouldn't be able to get it on the frontfoot. He also played it cross-batted, and missed it."