Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin has backed all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja's inclusion in the team for the World Cup 2019 semi-finals. Mohammad Azharuddin believes Ravindra Jadeja's all-round abilities make him a utility player and he will come in handy for the team in the semi-finals. India's middle-order has also not performed up to the mark in the last few matches and Ravindra Jadeja's inclusion can add depth to the team's batting attack. "Maybe try Jadeja, he is a utility player," Azhar, who is the only Indian captain to lead the team in three World Cups (1992, 1996, 1999) told AFP.
"In the last game (against Bangladesh) I thought maybe Jadeja could have played because you had a very thin batting line-up.
"Jadeja on these (English) wickets with the ball holding up and not coming on to the bat will be a force to reckon with. He is also a good fielder and a lusty batsman. They should try him against Sri Lanka."
Veteran big-hitter MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav have twice faced flak from pundits and on social media for not accelerating the score in the final few overs.
Their intent was questioned in India's only league loss to England, when they managed just 39 runs from the last five overs when 71 was needed for victory.
Dinesh Karthik replaced Jadhav in the next game at Edgbaston, against Bangladesh.
"Definitely the middle order has not done well. You need to be prepared because sometimes the three wickets fall early," said Azhar, a stylish middle-order batsman known for his wristy strokeplay.
"Rishabh Pant coming back has given the team some stability. But still, a lot was expected from Kedar Jadhav but he has not delivered.
"You need to have a re-look at the players who are going to play in the semi-finals."
Azhar said Dhoni should not be singled out for blame but urged the middle order to attack.
(With AFP inputs)