Games

WI vs IND, 3rd ODI: Ravindra Jadeja defends Team India’s experiments, plays down 2nd ODI defeat

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By India Today Sports Desk: India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has defended the manner in which India have been experimenting in the ODI series against the West Indies, saying the 3-match series has provided the opportunity for the visitors to chop and change and look at different combinations ahead of Asia Cup 2023 and the World Cup.

The decision to rest two of their most experienced and prolific players, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, was a significant one in the 2nd ODI. This move was part of a broader strategy to test the team’s depth and provide opportunities for other players to gain valuable game time in the lead-up to the World Cup.

Rohit and Kohli’s absence was felt deeply as the Indian batting unit struggled against the West Indies’ bowling attack in Barbados. Despite the inclusion of Sanju Samson and Axar Patel in the playing XI, the team could only manage to post a total of 181 runs, getting bowled out in just 40.5 overs. Ishan Kishan emerged as the top scorer with 55 runs, but the overall performance of the batting unit was disappointing.

However, the experiment did not yield the desired results as West Indies chased down the target with ease, securing a comprehensive 6-wicket win.

‘RIGHT TIME FOR CHANGE’

“Coming before the Asia Cup and the World Cup, this is the right time to experiment with team combinations and try players at different positions,” Jadeja told the press ahead of the 3rd ODI in Trinidad.

“It gives you a good idea about what the team balance should be like, and what would be the ideal combination. If we need to do any chop and change, this is the right time.”

“We know we lost a game but if you are trying different things, that can happen,” he said.

The decision to rest Sharma and Kohli was also defended by India’s coach, Rahul Dravid. He emphasized that this series was the last opportunity to try out different players before the Asia Cup. With some players injured and facing uncertainty around their fitness, it was crucial to give other squad members a chance to gain experience. Dravid also highlighted the need to take risks and make strategic decisions ahead of major tournaments like the Asia Cup and the upcoming World Cup.

India and West Indies will meet in the ODI series decider in Trinidad on Tuesday, August 1 and it will be interesting to see whether or not India choose to bring back Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

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