Ravindra Jadeja, Unrecognizable and Versatile in his Rapid Growth

Ravindra Jadeja's Growth as a responsible batter.

  • admin | March 12, 2022 | 11:42 pm

Ravindra Jadeja the Test Cricketer, and the Test batter seemed a mystery for many in the early stages of his career. While his bowling was pretty good, with Jadeja running through the Australians in 2013, at home, and later taking a five-wicket haul in South Africa, Jadeja’s batting remained a question. He had some interesting knocks in between, with a 68 in Lords, that turned out to be a key knock in one of India’s most famous overseas Test wins.

Ravindra Jadeja backed up his batting brilliance with nine wickets while bowling in the Test.

Other than the 68, Jadeja had some 20s and 30s, but only started to live up to his potential as a Test batter in 2016. With an extended home season, Ravindra Jadeja mastered the art of declaration batting, and this is where his growth began. He had six fifties in the 2016-2017 season as India looked to accelerate ahead of the declaration.

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Ravindra Jadeja has been good with the bat for ages. He scored a fifty on ODI debut, batting with the lower order, and has three triple hundreds in first class Cricket. His patience though is what separated him from a longer career as a batter. His tendency to play careless strokes often saw Jadeja waste his chances, despite a few responsible knocks that showed his potential.

To think that the Jadeja was once a careless batter may seem like a massive contrast to what we see now. At Mohali, Ravindra Jadeja was happy to play second fiddle in not just one, but two partnerships. He let Rishabh Pant have the fun, and was watching from the best seat in the house as Pant took apart the Sri Lankan bowlers. Following Pant’s dismissal as well, Ravindra Jadeja continued to hold back as Ravichandran Ashwin went on the attack. Jadeja built his innings with a lot of ones and twos, realizing his strength in running between the wickets.

A clear change was noted when Ashwin was dismissed. Batting with the tail, Jadeja didn’t go about the innings in his old ways. On occasions such as the Canberra ODI in 2016, where Jadeja exposed the tailenders to the Australian bowlers, despite the target intact, and handing the strike to Shardul Thakur for the final ball of the 2019 IPL Finals, Ravindra Jadeja showed his lack of responsibility. In Mohali, and in England last season, Ravindra Jadeja avoided unnecessary singles. He used to be a part of the tail himself with Ashwin batting above him, but this time he stayed patient.

Ravindra Jadeja brings out the sword.

Once Ravindra Jadeja went past 100, he brought his old self out and started swinging for the hills. He pierced the gaps nicely, and targeted the V well to score runs, finishing with a masterclass 175. While bowling, Ravindra Jadeja was more recognizable in Mohali. He stuck to his style of bowling straight and letting the pitch do its work, as his pace helped pick up wickets. He took Sri Lanka’s best batter, Dimuth Karunaratne early and it was one way traffic from there. In the end, Ravindra Jadeja finished with nine wickets in the Test, and was easily the most dominating player on the field.

With his batting, bowling and fielding, Jadeja tormented Sri Lanka with his multi-dimensional skills. He has been tormenting sides for a while with some key contributions on recent tours to England and Australia as well, but it was in Mohali where Jadeja went from contributing to dominating. With Ravindra Jadeja batting the way he is, India seem like a very scary prospect.

They have the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant up front, and if neither of them work, the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin are equally capable of taking India to a safe position. The batting line-up is very deep, and in Jadeja India has found an X-factor player who can shut down oppositions in any aspect.

He has learnt how to bat with the tail, can take games as deep as needed, handling pressure brilliantly and is now an indispensable member for India in all three formats of the game. With his style, Ravindra Jadeja comes down as a threat at any stage of the game, and he certainly has come a long way from where he started as a left-arm spinner who has potential but is careless with the bat. From a careless batter, Ravindra Jadeja has gone on to become the player Shane Warne predicted back in 2008, and is truly a rockstar in the Indian Team, and one of the best all-rounders in the World at the moment.