IMAGE: A fit-again Ravindra Jadeja made a strong comeback with a seven-wicket haul for Saurashtra in the second innings against Tamil Nadu as he bowled 41.1 overs in the Ranji Trophy match. Photograph: PTI
Ravindra Jadeja, who made a return to competitive cricket in Saurashtra’s Ranji Trophy match against Tamil Nadu last week, is all set to join the Indian Test squad ahead of the first Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test against Australia, which starts in Nagpur from February 9.
Jadeja, who has been out of action for nearly six months because of injury, was included in the Indian squad for the first two Tests against Australia but subject to fitness.
“Ravindra Jadeja’s inclusion in the squad is subject to fitness,” BCCI had said in a media release earlier this month..
A fit-again Jadeja made a strong comeback with a seven-wicket haul in the second innings against Tamil Nadu as he bowled 41.1 overs in the match, while scoring 15 and 25 in the two innings to dispel all doubts about his fitness.
One of the BCCI physios had travelled with Jadeja during the Ranji Trophy game to keep a track of his fitness, said a report in ESPNCricinfo.
Jadeja is back at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru to complete his final round of fitness tests.
The last Test match Jadeja played was the rescheduled fifth Test against England in July last year.
Jadeja had to undergo a knee surgery in August after he experienced discomfort in his right knee during the Asia Cup and has been out of action for the past six months.
He was included in the Test squad for the Bangladesh tour in December but was later ruled out as he was unable to prove his fitness.
An extension of his rehab meant that he missed the hpme white-ball series against Sri Lanka and New Zealand. But after getting a greenlight from the NCA, he played in the Ranji Trophy match to determine his fitness for an all-important Border-Gavaskar Trophy and get some game time before facing Australia, who have not won in India since 2004.
However, Shreyas Iyer is yet to get his fitness clearance as he continues to recover from his stiff back at the NCA. He was ruled out of the ODI series against New Zealand because of this issue and will have to spend a little time at the NCA. He was recently given an injection to help the swelling in his lower back area.
If he gets cleared, Shreyas will no doubt be the first-choice middle-order batter, averaging over 60 in last year’s five Tests in which he also smashed 422 runs and four fifties.
The other contenders include Suryakumar Yadav, India’s T20I batting sensation, who is yet to feature in Tests for India. Shubman Gill could also feature in the middle-order in case India opens with skipper Rohit and KL Rahul.
Iyer is optimistic about his quick recovery and is on the course of being declared fully fit, but BCCI wants to make sure that he is healed completely before he travels to Nagpur and joins India’s preparatory camp, starting on February 2.