Kings XI Punjab was cruising in their chase of 171 against Chennai Super Kings in their final league game in the 2019 Indian Premier League encounter at the PCA stadium, Mohali on Sunday. In the 14th over bowled by Dwayne Bravo, Kings XI Punjab needed 45 off 42 balls. However, on the second ball of the 14th over, disaster struck Chennai Super Kings. Nicholas Pooran drove Bravo to deep extra cover and Ravindra Jadeja fired a wild throw which resulted in the misfield, Kedar Jadhav tried to back up and in the process of saving the overthrow, he fell awkwardly on his left shoulder and he walked off the field with the physio.
The injury seemed serious as Jadhav was not on the field and the news was confirmed that he was ruled out of the playoffs for Chennai Super Kings. Speaking at the post-match press conference, Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming said, “He is getting an X-ray and a scan (done) tomorrow. We are hopeful for him although I don't think we will see him again in this tournament for us. He is in some discomfort, but we just need to be accurate with our assessments tomorrow. Fingers crossed that it is nothing serious, but it did not look that good,” Fleming said.
The injury to Jadhav could not have come at a worse time, with India’s opening game against South Africa in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 just less than a month away. Jadhav is not being risked as BCCI has blanket instructions that any injury to World Cup-bound players will be given utmost priority. The BCCI will not risk the veteran Maharashtra all-rounder, who is a vital cog in Virat Kohli's Plan A for the World Cup. Jadhav did not bowl a lot in IPL unlike he does for India and it has been learnt that his dodgy hamstring is one of the reasons for that as an aggravation could have affected his World Cup chances.
With Jadhav out of the playoffs, it will be interesting to see what Chennai Super Kings do to replace him in the squad for the upcoming first Qualifier against Mumbai Indians at the MA Chidambaram stadium on May 7.