In an era, where players from IPL dominate the Indian team, it is tough to create an impact based on your domestic performances but Jayant Yadav got into the team based on the weight of his domestic performances. Displaying his ‘all-rounding’ skills during the 2012-13 Ranji season, Jayant Yadav scored a mammoth 211, his maiden hundred, against Karnataka, simultaneously sharing a record-breaking stand of 392 for the eighth wicket with Amit Mishra. At the 2014-15 Ranji season, Jayant Yadav topped Haryana’s bowlers’ table with 33 wickets. He began the season with a six-for and went on to take 13 wickets in a match against Saurashtra in Rajkot. Playing for Rest of India in the Irani Cup in the 2015-16 season against Mumbai, Jayant Yadav was a part of the Rest of India team that chased down a record total of 482 to defeat the Ranji champions. Yadav bagged 8 wickets in the match and had also scored 46 in the first innings. He remained unbeaten on 19 when ROI chased 482 with 4 wickets to spare.Jayant Yadav’s exceptional performance both with the ball and the bat during the 2015-16 Ranji season helped him secure a spot in the national team.He debuted in 2016 in a Test Match against England.
At that time, England had a pretty strong bowling lineup with Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad, Adil Rashid, Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes. He came at number 9 and scored a spirited 35(84). In the second innings, India’s batting lineup is collapsing and he comes at number 9 again and remains not out with an inning of 27*(59). To add a cherry on the cake, he took 3 wickets in the second innings and everybody started to take notice of this debutant. Everyone had this question, is he the real deal?
Now it is the second Test. In just the first innings of England, he takes a crucial wicket of Joe Root and then of Bairstow who scored 89. Again he comes at number 9 but this time, he doesn’t score 20 or 30 but he straightforward scored a steady 55(141). In the second innings, he takes the wicket of Bairstow and Butler and everyone was mighty impressed with his performance.
Now it is the last test I will be talking about. Again he comes at number 9. 20 runs? 30? 50? 70? Nope. He just stamped his authority by scoring a brilliant century of 104(204) that too coming at number 9. In the innings of England, he took the crucial wicket of Joe Root who had the highest score of 77.
To score 35, 27*, 55 and then 104 and taking 11 wickets against full power England lineup was no fluke but still..Fast forward to 2021, he only played one test match after that and after February 2017, he never played again for India.
For a number 9 batsman, he has shown solid technique with the bat and his ability to rotate the strike, build the innings and form partnerships is something which we never expected from a number 9 player. He continues to be a handy bowler who can keep his line and length accurate, keep a check on the economy and still take crucial wickets but, would Yadav not have fit into the ‘balance’ scheme of things that India seek today? What Washington Sundar provided at the Gabba, Yadav provided then. Where is he now? He recently appeared for Haryana in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 and did well too
He never played for India after February 2017 even after performing for Haryana regularly while other young but not performing players were being backed. If India would’ve tried him regularly, we might’ve finally got a genuine spin bowling all-rounder after Jadeja. Considering that what India lacks over teams like Australia, England, and New Zealand are tail-enders who can bat, Jayant Yadav becomes even more valuable but sadly, he is now forgotten.
By Paramdeep Rathee