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Indian Premier League 2021

IPL 2021: Why Mumbai Indians should play Jayant Yadav against Delhi Capitals in Chennai

Jayant Yadav DC
Aadya Sharma by Aadya Sharma
@Aadya_Wisden 2 minute read

In the clash of last year’s IPL finalists, Mumbai Indians could benefit by fielding all-rounder Jayant Yadav, a strategic move that could give them an edge over Delhi Capitals’ batting line-up.

Since 2016, Jayant Yadav has played just five IPL games and has primarily been used for specific match-ups, especially against left-handed top-order batsmen. In fact, his last three matches have all been against Delhi Capitals, including two games against the team in the 2020 edition, the last of which was the final in Dubai.

In 2019, Jayant’s solitary outing was against the Chennai Super Kings, at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai, which will also host the next game against Delhi on April 20. In the 2019 game, he dismissed Suresh Raina, CSK’s No.3 batsman, for a 7-ball 5 in Mumbai’s six-wicket win, while in the 2020 final, he snared Shikhar Dhawan for a 13-ball 15 in the fourth over.

A crafty off-spinner who doesn’t turn the ball much, but relies more on subtle variations and help off the pitch, Jayant could return to be a temporary inclusion for a very specific match-up – attacking Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant, the two left-handers in the Delhi top order.

Here’s the complete IPL 2021 schedule, along with TV and live streaming details.

In all, Jayant has taken just six IPL wickets from 14 games, but all six have been left-handers – his other victims include Eoin Morgan, Axar Patel and David Warner, with another Raina scalp dating back to 2015. The move could especially work against Dhawan, who is known to struggle against spinners early on and has been dismissed eight times to off-spinners in 27 IPL innings.

It isn’t just the wicket-taking option; Jayant’s nagging lines have also seen him bowl thrifty spells, and his economy rate has never gone over 7. Against a line-up that has twice chased down 185+ scores in this tournament, and racked up scores of 62-1 and 65 in powerplays in those wins, Jayant would be a handy option to put brakes on the run-flow, and could be the one to tie up Pant.

Barring the pitch for the day game between RCB and KKR, Chennai’s slow, low track has seen spinners play crucial roles so far, including Shahbaz Ahmed’s 3-7 against SRH, Rahul Chahar’s 4-27 and 3-19 against SRH, and Rashid Khan’s 4-24 against KKR.

It won’t be surprising if Jayant doesn’t feature in many games this year. Even on his day, he won’t exactly run through sides, but the nature of the 31-year-old’s role in this MI outfit, who are known to make the best out of each squad member, is probably more to do with specificity than quantity.

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