December 3, 2012

Indian cricket

The curious case of Ravindra Jadeja

Ayush Kumar
Ravindra Jadeja cuts for four, Mumbai v Rest of India, Irani Cup, 1st day, Nagpur, October 1, 2009
Only 23 years old, Ravindra Jadeja already has three triple hundreds  © ESPNcricinfo Ltd
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I read the news of Ravindra Jadeja scoring another triple-century, and chuckled to myself: "Another case of a giant at home at the first-class level, and a failure at the international level." Indeed, Jadeja has been the one thing worse than a failure - he has been India's favourite scapegoat.

For as long as he was in the team, every match we lost was somehow Jadeja's fault. His bowling appeared to be toothless, and his batting frankly didn't have enough power to clear the ropes - a pre-requisite for somebody coming in at No. 7. His batting is in the Mohammad Kaif mould - someone who can nudge the ball around, but someone who would not clear the ropes too often due to a limited technique.

And yet, despite all his shortcomings, his numbers reveal something different, and indicate that the Indian selectors may have missed a trick in handling his career. His profile tells me that even at List A level, he fails the basic pre-requisite for an allrounder - his batting average (28.96) is lower than his bowling average (30.85). On the other hand, consider his first-class statistics - a batting average of 53.12, with seven centuries (out of which a scarcely believable three were triples), and a bowling average of 27.49 with 10 five-wicket hauls.

Is it possible that the selectors pigeon-holed Jadeja as a bits-and-pieces limited-overs player, while his actual worth would be more in the longer format? His batting is certainly more suited to a No. 8 slot in the longer format, where he is under no pressure to go over the infield. His technique is limited, but that never stopped Dhoni. More importantly, he offers a decent spin option, especially in India. On unresponsive tracks, he can hold up one end, and on spinning tracks, he can be a wicket-taking bowler, as his first-class bowling average attests to.

Time will tell if Jadeja deserves a promotion in the batting order above Dhoni, and perhaps No. 6 might be too high for him, as it is for Dhoni. But as his first-class statistics attest to, Jadeja definitely deserves a shot at the highest level. I can scarcely believe I am writing these words. Give India's favourite scapegoat a chance. He might just take it.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Sarbik on (January 15, 2013, 0:42 GMT)

play him at no. 4 in odis ,,,give him more over to hang around !!! 5,6,7 would be dhoni,yuvi and raina,all have the power to clear the ropes !!!

Posted by ashok on (December 16, 2012, 3:20 GMT)

the author's predictions came true. he is doing well. but its a game of musical chairs. he is competing against yuvraj and raina, who are dhoni's favourites. but dhoni himself is in hotseat. hope jadeja utilises this oppurtunity and makes a case for himself.. but the cupboard seems to be bare at the moment..

Posted by MO on (December 6, 2012, 15:57 GMT)

jada should be given chance insted of uvRAJ SINGH - ageing team should be replaced with youngters - get rid Of shewag, tundulker, Zahir Khan, even dhoni, kohli should be made captain. Bring on the youngster -let them sink or swim- Tndulker SWAM.

Posted by Amit on (December 4, 2012, 8:20 GMT)

Extremely sad to see someone having such a limited knowledge on a subject, gets a chance to write for Cricinfo. Then Jadeja is much better equipped a player, to play for India. Jadeja can use his long handle in extremely effective way. In his 1st triple, he reached 200 to 300 only in 4s and 6s. In fact, of late he has restrained himself from hitting sixes and eventually, taking risk. Yes, he has limited ability all around the wicket, but ability is evolved throughout the career. He already has the ability to score big which is demonstrated more than anyone else in the history of Indian domestic.

Posted by moBlue on (December 4, 2012, 7:07 GMT)

jadeja is also a brilliant fielder, probably the best in IND at the moment... which counts nowadays!

Posted by jimbond on (December 4, 2012, 4:11 GMT)

Should have a simple system- whoever is currently performing well in the domestic league should be give a chance at the higher level, and those not able to perform currently should be sent back to improve themselves. If they start doing well again, they should be brought back. Unless there is a hope of being taken back, many people will give up.

Posted by jimbond on (December 4, 2012, 4:10 GMT)

Should have a simple system- whoever is currently performing well in the domestic league should be give a chance at the higher level, and those not able to perform currently should be sent back to improve themselves. If they start doing well again, they should be brought back. Unless there is a hope of being taken back, many people will give up.

Posted by Sanjay on (December 4, 2012, 1:19 GMT)

100% agree. It is a like the guy and hate the guy story. I did not make the comparison between list A and first class, it is good static to consider, he deserves a chance in the test level. If he is a nudging player, he should be tried higher up the order in ODI as well. How many chances did Rohit Sharma get? Jaddu deserves more chances, Like the author of this article, I can not believe I am saying this either, but what else can you do after 2 300's in the same Ranji season, he needs to given a chance as early as 4th Test, when he is in prime form. There is no point trying to play him south Africa, if he can come up good here with England or who ever comes next to play in India.

Posted by Bishwajeet on (December 3, 2012, 12:37 GMT)

Jaddu's is anyday better than Raina, who got hell lots of chances in Tests. It's better to give this guy a try and he can be a genuine allrounder in Sub continental pitches. You might be remembering his bowling form when England came to India for ODIs

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