Team India enjoyed a successful outing in Asia Cup 2023 as they defeated Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in the final to lift the title for the eighth time. Apart from one rare hiccup against Bangladesh, the team more or less dictated the proceedings, sending a strong message with the World Cup scheduled to begin in less than a month.
Both batting and the bowling unit clicked in the continental event as India handed Pakistan a 228-run defeat, then defended a modest 213 against Sri Lanka. The party was not over as a breathtaking show by Mohammed Siraj in the finale put icing on the cake. Siraj registered 6/21 in seven overs, helping India fold Sri Lanka for 50 in 15.2 overs after they won the toss and opted to bat. Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill then completed the formalities as they wrapped the chase in 6.1 overs, helping India win by 10 wickets.
While every box appears to be ticked, especially with the World Cup approaching, ex-India batter Gautam Gambhir pointed out an area of concern for India, which went unnoticed throughout the course of the Asia Cup.
Gambhir emphasised that for India to do well at the World Cup all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has to contribute “better” with the bat. “We know he (Jadeja) can bowl 10 overs on any given day on any surface. He is an amazing fielder but he will have to contribute better as a batter at No. 7 because you cannot go in with just six batters.
“If Ishan Kishan plays at No. 5, there are question marks there as well. So Ravindra Jadeja will have to win matches with batting because you might have a situation where you need 80 or 90 runs in 10 overs and the No. 6 and No. 7 batters might be playing together,” noted Gambhir during a discussion on Star Sports.
Jadeja got to showcase his batting potential on three occasions in the Asia Cup but the southpaw had a below-par show all three times. If we look at the stats, Jadeja gathered just 25 runs from those three innings at a poor average of 8.33 and an equally dismal strike-rate of 47.16.
However, Jadeja was quite effective with the ball, accounting for six wickets in four innings, while maintaining an economy rate of 4.34.