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Ravindra Jadeja is set to feature in the upcoming Ranji Trophy match against Tamil Nadu to gain match fitness ahead of Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023, starting February 9. The star all-rounder was named in India’s 17-member squad for the first two Tests against Australia on Friday (January 13). But the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) cleared that his availability is subject to fitness.
The 34-year-old spin all-rounder injured his knee during an adventure sports training at the 2022 Asia Cup in September. He missed the T20 World Cup and his return was postponed due to his struggles with recovery. However, he is finishing his rehab at National Cricket Academy in Bangalore and is reportedly bowling and batting again.
According to a report from ESPNcricinfo, Jadeja is set to play Saurashtra’s final round of Ranji Trophy game against Tamil Nadu starting on January 24 in Chennai. The BCCI and Indian management are taking cautious steps with Jadeja’s return to international cricket and are unlikely to rush the player back into action.
However, the BCCI is also hoping for a positive update on Jadeja’s fitness as they don’t want to miss out on a match-winning player against the mighty Australian team. Indian team is in contention to qualify for the final of the World Test Championship and the next Test series against Australia will be their biggest hurdle.
Indian team is already missing Rishabh Pant, their top-scorer in Tests in 2022, owing to a serious accident he met earlier this month. In Pant’s absence, having a left-handed batter in the middle order can be crucial for India. Notably, Jadeja is currently the No. 1 Test all-rounder, while his performances against Australia have always been top-notch.
He won the Player of the Series award when Australia toured India in 2017 for A four-match Tests series. He was the leading wicket-taker in the series with 25 wickets and also played a match-winning knock of 63 runs in the fourth match in Dharamsala.
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