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Saturday, September 8, 2012

IPL poster boy wallows in obscurity

Visakhapatnam, Sept. 7 -- Ravindra Jadeja's Rs. 10 crore tag at this year's IPL auction may have led to raised eyebrows, but it instantly put him in the bracket of the world's best T20 players. But less than four months after he played his last IPL game, Jadeja finds himself out of favour. He is not in the T20 team that will play New Zealand from Saturday, and also does not feature in the squad for the World T20 later this month. Worse, he does not figure even in the India 'A' squad that will tour New Zealand next week.
The Chennai Super Kings, captained by MS Dhoni, had shelled out the huge sum for him in the February auction. Incidentally, the player management firm that manages Jadeja and his contracts, Rhiti Sports, also manages the India skipper.
Ejection justified
Board sources say his ejection from the India team is justified as he failed in the IPL (191 runs in 19 matches @ 15.91 and just 12 wickets). "He hasn't been consistent," says a source. In fact, they are not in favour of grooming him for the future by picking him for India 'A'. This raises the question that whether the amount paid to players like him is justified.
Ex-players like Madan Lal agree. "Others must have fared better. That is why he is not in the team. First of all, I don't understand how anyone can pay so much for a player who is not sure of his place in the national side."
Unlike other players, who have gone back to the National Cricket Academy for fitness and off-season programmes, Jadeja hasn't done so.
In the run-up to the Test and T20 series, players not in the India and 'A' squads were at the NCA for various reasons. But not Jadeja.
His coach Mahesh Chauhan says Jadeja is grinding out at the inter-district level. "He has scored a century and picked up a few wickets. He captained Jamnagar to the final."
Awaiting a call
Jadeja had to skip the Buchi Babu tournament (in Chennai) for Saurashtra (a pre-cursor to the domestic season) as his father was in hospital.
The left-arm spinner is awaiting a call to one of the two teams for the Challenger Series, which will be played from September 29 at Rajkot.
There is a strong chance he'll make it to one of the teams as India will be busy at the World T20.

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