Ravindra Jadeja, landed in Dubai deep into the evening on Thursday. Axar Patel’s finger injury ended his white-ball exile.
Without a net session in the Dubai heat, Jadeja turned up for India’s first Super Four match of the Asia Cup against Bangladesh on Friday.
The Rohit Sharma-led Indian team smartly opted for an extra spinner in place of the injured Hardik Pandya. Jadeja returned with 4/29 from his 10 overs.
Under pressure to perform, Jadeja arose to restrict Bangladesh to 173.
The score was never going to be enough, especially with the kind of form the Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are in.
They shared an opening partnership of 61, before Dhawan departed for 40. But Sharma, unbeaten on 83, stuck around to see India through. India reached the target in 37 overs with 7 wickets to spare.
As compared to India, Bangladesh’s first wicket fell early. Jadeja came into the attack in the 10th over and made an eventful start.
He overstepped and then on the free-hit, the second ball of the over, Shakib Al Hasan hammered a full-toss for a four.
The bowler in his delivery stride didn’t notice that his captain was in the process of calling a fielder inside the circle. The umpires declared it a dead ball.
Shakib swept the next delivery for a four to the deep the square leg boundary. Rohit and MS Dhoni converged to have a discussion.
Shikhar Dhawan was moved from mid-wicket to square leg, leaving the area gaping. Jadeja bowled a similar delivery, a good length ball outside the off stump.
This time, though, he held it back a little. Shakib once again went for a sweep but hit it straight to Dhawan at square leg.
The Bangladesh allrounder was livid with himself. He was outfoxed by a brilliant piece of captaincy. India celebrated Shakib’s scalp.
Mohammad Mithun fell to a trademark Jadeja delivery faster and straight. The batsman reviewed, but the ball had hit the pad first after skidding off the surface.
Jadeja’s third wicket, Mushfiqur Rahim, was the victim of the choke. Between 14 and 30 overs during the Bangladesh innings, just 34 runs had been scored and only one boundary was conceded.
The Bangladesh ‘keeper got out in the 18th over, when he chose unorthodoxy to break the shackles. With hardly any run available to the straight field, Rahim reverse-swept a Jadeja delivery and picked Yuzvendra Chahal at short third man. He hung his head but the damage was done.
Mosaddek Hossain became Jadeja’s fourth scalp in his final spell. This time the comeback man gave the ball some loop, releasing it slower through the air. Hossain didn’t have the technical ability to counter Jadeja’s wit.
His ugly heave resulted in the ball taking the toe-end of the bat and going to Dhoni’s gloves. Jadeja broke the back of the Bangladesh batting.
Bowlers, experience notwithstanding, thrives on confidence. Rohit brilliantly played his part as the captain.
He brought Jadeja into the attack ahead of Kuldeep Yadav and was spot on with his field placements. The stand-in skipper has been using his bowlers very well in this tournament.
Yadav came in the 11th over and bowled in tandem with Jadeja for six overs at a stretch. Just 16 runs had been scored in those six overs.
The wrist-spinner and the finger-spinner complemented each other. Both Yadav and Chahal went wicketless in this game, but kept things tight. Two wrist-spinners and Jadeja gelled pretty well in their first international outing together.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah once again made early inroads, removing the openers and bowling economically with the new ball. For a change, India won the toss today and elected to field.
The two fast bowlers finished with three wickets apiece. A 66-run eighth wicket partnership between Mehidy Hasan and Mashrafe Mortaza was the only notable batting effort from Bangladesh. It gave their total some respectability.
Mortaza tried to up the ante at the death, hitting consecutive sixes off Kumar in the 47th over. But the Bangladesh skipper then chipped a low full-toss straight to Bumrah at short fine leg. Hasan top-scored with 42 before being dismissed by Bumrah. Bangladesh were 173 all out.
A 61-run opening stand between Rohit and Dhawan made India’s chase a cakewalk. The former was elegance personified, as he sauntered his second half-century of the tournament. The opponents didn’t have enough runs on the board for Rohit to go for three-figures.
Bangladesh 173 in 49.1 overs: Liton Das c Jadhav b Kumar 7 (16), Nazmul Shanto c Dhawan b Bumrah 7 (14), Shakib al Hasan c Dhawan b Jadeja 17 (12), Mushfiqur Rahim c Chahal b Jadeja 21 (45), Mohammad Mithun lbw Jadeja 9 (19), Mahmudullah lbw Kumar 25 (51), Mosaddek Hossain c Dhoni b Jadeja 12 (43), Mashrafe Mortaza c Bumrah b Kumar 26 (32), Mehidy Miraz c Dhawan b Bumrah 42 (50), Mustafizur Rahman c Dhawan b Bumrah 3 (9), Rubel Hossain not out 1 (5);
Extras: (lb 1, nb 1, w 1) 3; FoW: Fall of wickets: 1-15 (Liton Das, 4.3 ov), 2-16 (Nazmul Hossain Shanto, 5.1 ov), 3-42 (Shakib Al Hasan, 9.4 ov), 4-60 (Mohammad Mithun, 15.4 ov), 5-65 (Mushfiqur Rahim, 17.6 ov), 6-101 (Mahmudullah, 32.5 ov), 7-101 (Mosaddek Hossain, 33.2 ov), 8-167 (Mashrafe Mortaza, 46.3 ov), 9-169 (Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 47.2 ov), 10-173 (Mustafizur Rahman, 49.1 ov); Bowling: B Kumar 10-1-32-3; J Bumrah 9.1-1-37-3; Y Chahal 10-0-40-0; R Jadeja 10-0-29-4; K Yadav 10-0-34-0.
India 174/3 in 36.2 overs: Rohit Sharma not out 83 (104), Shikhar Dhawan lbw Shakib 40 (47), Ambati Rayudu c Rahim b Rubel 13 (28), MS Dhoni c Mithun b Mortaza 33 (37), D Karthik not out 1 (3); Extras: (1 lb, 1 nb, 2 w) 4; FoW: 1-61 (S Dhawan, 14.2 ov), 2-106 (AT Rayudu, 23.6 ov), 3-170 (MS Dhoni, 35.3 ov); Bowling: M Mortaza 5-0-30-1; M Miraz 10-0-38-0; M Rahman 7-0-40-0; S Al Hasan 9.2-0-44-1; R Hossain 5-0-21-1.>