Jadeja the go-to man for team India

By Gaurav Joshi

Ranchi:  Normally the dismissal of Virat Kohli is followed by a prolong silence in cricket stadiums in India, but in Bangalore on the third afternoon the minute Kohli trudged off after being adjudged LBW by the DRS system, the crowd continued to roar.  The reason was because their other favourite son, Ravindra Jadeja had been promoted to bat at No.5.

Even the next afternoon when Ravi Ashwin was introduced to bowl, the crowd continued to chant ‘we want Jaddu’. Over the last six months Jadeja had become the second most popular pin up boy in India cricket.

When the home season started in September he was tagged as the ‘back up’ spinner to Ashwin. The label would remain with him until the end of the fourth Test match against England. He had gone 14 innings without a five wicket’ haul, as he watched his partner in crime, Ashwin mount up the five wicket hauls at will.

Then in the fifth Test against England in Chennai when a draw seemed inevitable, Jadeja sprung the Chennai pitch and the fans to life.  There was that remarkable 30 yard sprint to catch a ball above his head and offcourse the seven wicket haul that took India to victory.

Until that Test match it was always “If Ashwin doesn’t get you then Jaddu will”. But slowly as the season and the pitches have wore on the slogan had been reversed. Jadeja has become the go-to man for team India ahead of Ashwin.

Umesh Yadav at the end of day’s stated that he felt that Jadeja was in prime form.

“The best part about Jadeja is that regardless of the pitch his accuracy makes him effective on any style of pitch. He continues to bowl at one spot and then simply keeps hitting that spot and I think he is bowling is at its best [peak].”

Interestingly, it was on a pitch that was tailor made for him in Pune that he was below his best. But maybe that is because Jadeja has come a long way as a bowler in the last six months and he didn’t need assistance from the pitch. He had worked out that by plugging away at one spot with subtle variations, he was impossible to get away. His style that had brought him so much success on the flat tracks in Rajkot was now been translated into Test level.

It was a further indicator on how far he has come as spinner and why he is India’s second most cherished cricketer after Kohli.

 

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