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Home SPORTS Virat Kohli coming back in form is a big plus for India:...

Virat Kohli coming back in form is a big plus for India: Mahela Jayawardene

Former Sri Lanka cricketing giant Mahela Jayawardene feels India have suffered a major blow with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja getting injured and not being a part of the 15-member squad for the ICC T20 World Cup, set to being in Australia next month.

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Jadeja underwent a knee surgery a week back and is in the recovery phase, posting messages on social media and keeping his fans updated on his progress.

Jadeja had injured his right knee and was ruled out of the 2022 Asia Cup after playing the first two games in the continental event. The 33-year-old had also missed India’s tour of the West Indies in July owing to an injury.

“It is a challenge (for India). They had fitted him (Jadeja) nicely in that No.5 role. He has been batting really well and him and Hardik (Pandya) being in that top six — two guys who can give that all-round options — gave India much more flexibility in that batting order,” Jayawardena said on The ICC Review on Saturday.

A handy bowler as well as a left-handed power-hitter, Jadeja gave a much-needed balance to the India XI. And, the former Sri Lankan batter said his absence will be “a massive loss” to one of the early tournament favourites.

“It is a tough one for them, and probably a concern not having that left-hander. They’ve switched to leaving out DK (Dinesh Karthik) and bringing in Rishabh (Pant) in that role, batting at 5 or 4. Those are things they have to settle going into the World Cup. But not having Jadeja, the form that he was in… it will be a massive loss for them,” opined Jayawardene.

Recently, IPL side Mumbai Indians had announced that their head coach Jayawardene was being elevated to a new role as part of the franchise’s central team for its growing global cricket footprint. The former Sri Lanka skipper, who became the head coach of the franchise in 2017 and under whom MI won three IPL titles, has been appointed as MI’s Global Head of Performance.

Jayawardene felt that despite the blow, India still have much to look forward given that their star batter Virat Kohli is regaining form. The 33-year-old had taken a month-long break from cricket to focus on his mental health and returned in the Asia Cup, scoring a century.

Kohli broke his century drought that spanned 1,020 days, scoring his 71st international hundred when he smashed an unbeaten 122 against Afghanistan. He finished as the second highest run-getter in the tournament with 276 runs at an impressive 92, striking at 147.59.

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