Saurashtra v Railways, Ranji Trophy, Group A, 2nd day December 2, 2012

Third triple puts Jadeja in elite company

Haresh Pandya

Ravindra Jadeja is the eighth batsman and first Indian to score three triple-centuries in first-class cricket. He joined the illustrious company of WG Grace, Bill Ponsford, Don Bradman, Wally Hammond, Graeme Hick, Brian Lara and Michael Hussey. Jadeja is not yet 24.

He reached his third triple on the second day of Saurashtra's Ranji Trophy match against Railways in Rajkot. He was unbeaten on 320 at stumps, having batted 690 minutes in the first innings. Jadeja had begun this Ranji season in a blaze of glory, making an unbeaten 303, which spanned 561 minutes, against Gujarat in Surat. His first triple-hundred had come in November 2011, 314 in 558 minutes against Orissa in Cuttack.

The third triple was laudable for its timing. Saurashtra, without Cheteshwar Pujara, had slipped to 90 for 4 after Jaydev Shah had decided to bat against Railways. Jadeja would have also been dismissed, on 19, had medium-pacer Krishnakant Upadhyay not floored a straightforward catch off his own bowling.

Jadeja made the most of that reprieve. He found a partner in Shitanshu Kotak to first stabilise the innings and then give it respectability. Jadeja and Kotak complemented each other: the two left-hand batsmen, one full of exuberance and the other experience, ensured Railways did not have any further success on the first day. Saurashtra were 227 for 4 at stumps. Jadeja was on 111, Kotak 53.

"As usual the wicket was playing very easy. But to stay at there and score runs, you had to show a lot of application and determination," Kotak said. "After all, the Railways new-ball bowlers and spinners were really bowling well and keeping a good line and length. Jadeja handled them excellently and played a lovely innings.

Having shown a tremendous appetite for runs this season, Jadeja batted on through the second day, converting his century into a double and then an unbeaten triple. Jadeja had another let-off, on 274, when he edged left-arm spinner Ashish Yadav but Sanjay Bangar could not catch a difficult chance at slip.

"He has started showing so much maturity and this particular innings was the best example," said Kotak, who was dismissed on 68 after adding 170 runs for the fifth wicket with Jadeja. "I was there at the other end for a very long time and I can tell you he batted with great responsibility. Never once did he appear careless or irresponsible. He was determined to play a big innings."

Kotak said Jadeja's form would make the selectors take notice when they pick the limited-overs squads for the Twenty20 and ODI series against England in December and January. "You can't ignore such performances. Jadeja is very young. He has not only batted well and scored lots of runs this season, but also taken plenty of wickets as a left-arm spinner. So the selectors should seriously consider him as an allrounder and give him another chance to prove his worth."

Debu Mitra, who has been Saurashtra's coach for more than ten years, rated this triple-century higher than Jadeja's previous two. "I've seen all the three triple-centuries scored by Jadeja. Though this one was played on a slightly batting-friendly pitch, it was easily the best because it was made when the bowlers were on top and Saurashtra were in trouble.

"It was a fantastic innings. This is Group A, with some of the best teams. And Railways are no pushovers. I think almost right through the first day the Railways bowlers dominated the proceedings. You can see that from Saurashtra's score, too - 227 for 4 in 90 overs. But Sunday belonged to Jadeja."

Haresh Pandya is a freelance journalist specialising in cricket. He writes for The New York Times among other publications

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • raj on December 5, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    Congrats to Jadeja. However, my mind has not changed - Jadeja is not International material...neither a good enough bowler nor batsman. I would rather see batsman who are more adaptable in all conditions, against all bowling as opposed to batsman who pile on huge scores when the pitch is flat, bowling is weak and catches are dropped! Regardless, a triple is a great achievement but I would pick a Rehane over a Jadeja any day - 2x100 is better than1x300...simple!

  • Dummy4 on December 4, 2012, 17:07 GMT

    @ Built_4_the_Kill Very well said. Excellent posting by you.

    "If scoring triple centuries was that easy, even on flat tracks and facing mediocre bowling, India would have probably 40 to 50 triple centuries scored in every Ranji trophy season." well said.

  • Dummy4 on December 4, 2012, 16:59 GMT

    Congratulations to Jadeja. Great Feet. I think he is more suited to test than ODIs. Indian selectors should bring him in test squad and give him a few matches to prove himself.

  • Sunil on December 4, 2012, 14:21 GMT

    2 triple centuries in 1 season and 3 triples over a 13-month period - this surely qualifies him for a place in the Test team. The pitches and the quality of bowlers are irrelevant - the hunger for runs and big scores sets him apart from a number of other contenders. Have not been a fan of Jadeja in T-20s and ODIs - maybe he is better suited to the longer version of the game.

  • Aditya on December 4, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    One should understand these performances of Jadeja, like Rohit Sharma his temperament , technique & shot making is more suited to the longer format , and as always our selectors always fill square pegs in round holes. He was sent to no.7 all the time to slog fron the word go. But he is not a natural slogger, he is a proper technique batsman with a different temperament suited for longer versions of the game. Give him continuous 10 ODI games at no.4 & 5-6 tests at no. 6, you will see the real Jadeja who is much more than a domestic circuit bully .

  • timothy on December 4, 2012, 8:15 GMT

    it doesn't matter how flat the pitch is a triple century is always a huge achievement and people should not belittle it by saying it was made on a flat track. Even on a flat track you have to have to have tremendous temperant and concentration to bat that long. Jadeja should be selected for the test side instead f yuvraj. His bowling is much better and yuvraj has atrocious technique

  • Harmon on December 3, 2012, 18:09 GMT

    While no one here is claiming that Jadeja is a great batsman it is a statistical fact that Jadeja has achieved something truly remarkable. There have been several talented natsmen in th epast and several FC matches have been played on flat wickets or against poor attacks but very very few have scored 3 FC Triple Tons. And I am surprised that some of the Ind posters here are not admiring this achievement and are even ridiculing Jadeja. Shocking. No other fans does that for his country. What kind of fans are we? When Hayden scored 380 vs Zim, I don't think he was ridiculed. It was seen as a record and it was a record indeed. Zim had played several tests by that time and yet no one else had scored Triple Ton vs them. But poor Jadeja is being seen as some flat track bully here. Some fans said the same when SRT & Viru scored 200s when no one else in the history had done it. Why do the Ind fans have to be so self-patronizing?

  • Mayank on December 3, 2012, 17:07 GMT

    Undoubtedly scoring 3-300s in somethng unique which no odr indian has ever achievd...but still i dnt see Jadeja in Ind test team(nt even in T20s)..esp. whn pujara nd kohli have cemented their place nd Raina/Tiwari/badrinth r waitng fr their turn...Jadeja is only good fr his left arm spin generally proves to be handy nd most of th times his slogs at no.7 generates some runs...

  • Chandra on December 3, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    Common guys. Give him some respect. It is a love - hate relationship when it comes to Jaddu. Scoring 300 on any wicket is not that easy, that proves since no one in India has done it. I would play Rahane in 3rd test instead of Yuvi and see how he does and probably give a chance to Jaddu on the 4th test. No better time than this to give him a chance. You do not want to give a player a chance when he is out of form and he keeps asking more chances. Same applies to Tiwary as well. He needs to get his chances as well.

  • Dummy4 on December 3, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    I wonder why this brilliant man is not showing at the international level?

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