Ravindra Jadeja who now owns three record triple tons in the domestic circuit was brought back into the squad as a batting all-rounder who can bowl a bit. In the first Test at Chennai, even though the top-order had fired as a unit, which included a spectacular double-ton from MS Dhoni, the way Jadeja was clean bowled brought him a lot of embarrassment. It was a short of length delivery from James Pattinson, Jadeja didn’t offer a shot as it knocked the stumps. “Jadeja falls 284 runs short of what would have been a fourth first-class triple-century,” his dismissal was sarcastically described by a leading cricket portal. Someone even called him ‘Sir’ Ravindra Jadeja after which the joke went viral.
The fans and even cricket experts mentioned him as ‘Sir’ Ravindra Jadeja whenever he bowled or fielded well. But despite all these jokes, the left-hander’s contribution to the Border-Gavaskar Trophy so far cannot be ignored.
As everybody says, nobody on a cricket field can inspire you more than Sachin Tendulkar. But it was a different story on the final day of the third Test match during the death overs. MS Dhoni was at the crease with Tendulkar as Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle all of a sudden began bowling the best spell of the series as a pair. While Tendulkar was trying his best to release the pressure with some strokes, MS Dhoni was finding it difficult to connect his bat with the ball, let alone hitting boundaries. The pressure was mounting. As a result of which Tendulkar ended up being run-out.
In came Ravindra Jadeja. He had a short conversation with his skipper, who was in no position to offer him any advice to tackle the Australian pacers. Jadeja launched the second ball over long off for a much-needed boundary and dispatched the next for another four. The two shots were enough to bring the Mohali crowd back on their feet and there was no looking back from there on as Dhoni’s willow produced three consecutive boundaries off Mitchell Starc’s next over. The series was won and it was clear that those two shots from Jadeja released the pressure, and once again we were reminded of his substantial contribution in the series.
Michael Clarke’s purple patch has been put on hold by Jadeja. The Australian skipper has been scalped five times in six innings by Jadeja, all off top class deliveries. Clarke has been outstanding over the last one year as he became the only batsman to have scored four double centuries in a calendar year. Even in the ongoing Test series, he began his campaign on a promising note by hitting a century in the first Test followed by a score of 91 in the first innings of the Hyderabad Test. “Pup” would have gone on to score more runs had it not been for Jadeja’s unplayable deliveries which have bamboozled him throughout the tour.
Another appreciable aspect of Jadeja in the series has been his fielding. The Moises Henriques’ run-out in the first Test and then a caught and bowled in the third were a treat to watch. He has got breakthroughs for the team whenever the ball was thrown at him. The tenth-wicket partnership in the second innings at Mohali had begun to bother Team India before Jadeja eventually ended Starc’s resilience at the crease.
While he continues to impress with his accurate line and length, Dhoni should ask the left-hander to take his batting a bit seriously. India have been devoid of a genuine all-rounder for quite some time now. Only if Jadeja can consistently make significant contributions with the bat, he can for sure, overcome all the ‘Sir-casm’.