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Pak batters average 53.89 vs left arm orthodox bowling since CWC 2019; Is Jadeja a surety for India?

Pakistan batters average 53.89 vs left arm orthodox bowling since Cricket World Cup 2019; Is Ravindra Jadeja a surety for India in Ahmedabad?

CWC 2023: Will Ravindra Jadeja be playing against Pakistan given their record against left arm spin? | Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Pakistan batters avg over 50 against left arm orthodox spin (Photo: ©Twitter)

As India gears up to face Pakistan in the marquee clash of ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2023 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on October 14, the team management will look to get the best possible playing XI on the ground.


Pakistan batters fare better against left arm orthodox bowling; Do India need to modify their bowling combination?

It will be too far-fetched to say that India have a selection headache in terms of picking the right bowlers for this game, but there is more to it than what appears at the surface. The Ahmedabad track saw New Zealand scoring heavily in their opening clash against England. So, will India go for three seamers and two spinners or will they opt for two spinner and three seamers at the given venue?


Considering that the opposition is an Asian side in Pakistan, it is judicious to perform an analysis on how their batters fare against various types of bowlers since CWC 2019.



There is statistical evidence to prove that Pakistani batters have preferred facing left-arm spinners over the others in the period between ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and now.

Bowler Type

Innings

Runs

Dismissals

Average

Strike Rate

Left Arm Wrist Spin

4

191

6

31.83

90.95

Right Arm Offbreak

26

1330

36

36.94

77.15

Left Arm orthodox

20

1024

19

53.89

92.75

Right Arm fast/medium fast

37

4738

141

33.60

95.27

Historically, the batters of the Pakistan team or any Asian team are known to play spin well and the current crop of their players including Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Abdullah Shafique, Ifthikar Ahmed have time & again showed their ability against quality spinners.


Here are the ODI records of some Pakistan batters against left arm orthodox bowlers since CWC 2019

Player

Innings

Runs

Dismissals

Average

Strike Rate

Abdullah Shafique

3

36

0

-

80

Agha Salman

8

83

0

-

106.4

Babar Azam

33

508

5

101.6

85.1

Iftikhar Ahmed

5

59

0

-

98.3

Mohammad Rizwan

28

347

5

69.4

91.8

In the time period under the scanner, between CWC 2019 and now, Pakistan batters have the best record against left-arm orthodox bowlers (averaging 53.89) over the other variety of bowlers, be it right arm offbreak, left arm wrist spin or right arm pace. These are the variety that the Indian team has at its arsenal.


Should Ravindra Jadeja make way for Ravichandran Ashwin if India go with two spinners?

Ravindra Jadeja has been one of India’s best bowlers since Asia Cup 2023 and so far, has had a good 2023 with the ball, having taken 18 wickets from 17 games. But the match up analysis with Pakistan suggests that the men In green have taken a liking to left-arm orthodox spinners compared to the other variety of bowlers on offer.


In an era where the team line-up is decided based on close analysis, it would be better advised for India to go with Ravichandran Ashwin over Ravindra Jadeja as the second spinner if India go for only two spinners. Sure, the batting will be a little weak, but Jadeja the batter hasn’t come to the fore as well. Ashwin can handle the bat well, having scored 5 Test tons and has been really good with the ball since his comeback to the Indian team.


So, it would be interesting to see if India are tempted to go into the contest seeing the match-ups or field the same combination here at Ahmedabad as well.



Shardul/Shami? Who ranks higher?

Well, the answer to this query may not be straightforward, but the team management’s decision making in this regard thus far has been in one direction. In the two games that India have played in this World Cup or the Asia Cup for that matter, they have gone with the player who adds depth to the batting rather than a third specialist seamer in Mohammed Shami.


While Shami did get a few games in Asia Cup, but it happened mostly in the absence of either of India’s first-choice pacers - Mohammed Siraj or Jasprit Bumrah. All-rounder Hardik Pandya performed the role of the third pacer in most of these matches and most likely, it would be the case again in Ahmedabad as well.


One of the reasons has been India’s long tail and the fear of the batting unit crumbling when there is a collapse. The batting of Kuldeep Yadav, Siraj, Bumrah or Shami is not something to boast about when compared to the other team’s lower order batting. That is why, India selected Ashwin for the Chennai game against Australia and Shardul Thakur was given nod in India’s second game at Delhi.


So, it is almost certain that the team will go ahead with stocking the batting once again at Ahmedabad. Shardul’s batting capability, as he has shown multiple times in the past across formats, to go with his knack of taking wickets (20 in 14 games this year) at crucial junctures make him an ideal no. 8 for a team. But there is a catch here.



What could be the dilemma?

Shami has a tremendous record for India in ODIs and his stats in the World Cups are quite extraordinary. The pacer has taken 31 wickets in just 11 WC games for India at an incredible average of 15.71 and has a four-wicket haul against Pakistan (4/35) at Adelaide in 2015. Given his experience and the fact that Siraj looked ordinary, Shami could be given the nod.


Adding to that, Indian batters have shown form in this World Cup till now as well as in the Asia Cup. So, there shouldn’t be any qualms bolstering the bowling attack by including Shami for this game.


India play arch-rivals Pakistan on October 14 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

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