IPL 2012 auction February 4, 2012

The return of the 'rockstar'

The hard work that Ravindra Jadeja put in after being dropped from the India side has paid off in spades in the IPL auction. He has become the latest member of the IPL's two-million-dollar club

Just about two years ago, the career of the IPL's fifth and latest two-million-dollar man hit rock bottom, with little sign of a recovery. Ravindra Jadeja, then only 21, was handed a one-year ban from playing in the IPL. His offence was to try and negotiate a deal with Mumbai Indians while still under an obligation to play for Rajasthan Royals. The "rockstar", as Shane Warne had so memorably dubbed him, had been cut off from the stage.

Worse was to follow. A few months later, he was one of seven players who were sent a show-cause notice by the BCCI following a brawl at a St Lucia pub shortly after India's exit from the 2010 World Twenty20. Jadeja ended up apologising to the board. Later the same year, he found himself out of the India team as well, replaced by Yusuf Pathan, and missed out on the 2011 World Cup.

Debu Mitra, Jadeja's coach at his domestic side Saurashtra, believes too much was made of the allrounder too soon - he was only 19 when Warne turned him into a star. Mitra thinks that Jadeja should have been allowed to simply get on with the business of playing cricket. But the last blow, the loss of his India cap, forced Jadeja to take stock of his situation.

"When he was dropped from the India side, it was a lesson for him," Mitra told ESPNcricinfo. "He changed himself a lot and worked even harder after that. He became very determined. Improved his batting. Improved his weak points." Mitra said Jadeja took to coming to practice early and asking his coach to bowl throw-downs while he worked on various aspects of his technique. He also began picking Mitra's brain on how to approach the game in the middle.

That hard work has paid off in spades in today's IPL auction. Jadeja has already regained his place in the India side, thanks in part to Yusuf's poor performances. Now he has become the latest member of the IPL's two-million-dollar club.

Last year Jadeja repaid Kochi by making 283 runs at a strike rate of 124.12, and taking eight wickets at an economy rate of 7.26. What the statistics don't show, however, is the impact Jadeja can have as a fielder as well. He is extremely agile across the ground. Australia found out just how quick in the second Twenty20 international against India on Friday, when he ran out Aaron Finch and George Bailey.

Physical talents aside, Mitra said Jadeja is also very tough mentally. He cited Saurashtra's last Ranji Trophy game this season as proof of the player's refusal to give in. On a difficult pitch to bat on, Saurashtra were bowled out for 175. "Then he took six wickets," Mitra said. "Railways couldn't make 100 even. In the second innings, he took four more wickets. The match was over."

Shitanshu Kotak, a team-mate and former captain of Jadeja's, called him fearless. "He doesn't think much," Kotak said. "He just plays." Kotak also believes Jadeja has matured as he has grown older, and has learned from his mistakes.

Chennai Super Kings, who have bought Jadeja (after going to a tie-break with Deccan Chargers, following the teams' bids of their maximum purse of $2 million), are going to get someone Mitra called three players in one. "He is equivalent to three players - batsman, bowler and fielder," Mitra said. "Nowadays you don't get many players like him."

15:33 GMT, February 4: This story originally said Ravindra Jadeja would only receive $950,000 of the amount the Chennai Super Kings paid for him. He will receive US$2 million (the maximum price for any player) and the undisclosed tie-breaker amount will be kept by the BCCI

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sadasivam on February 7, 2012, 5:22 GMT

    ha ha ha....DINESHCC I think you will have to amend your comments...Dhoni the most expensive of 2008 has delivered 2 IPLs, 1 runner-up and a 4th place finish!

  • Dummy4 on February 6, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    WHAT? the rockstar has risen just bcz he has gone high in a mad wild bid, man rockstars rises due to performances not in circuses,

  • DINESH on February 6, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    In 2008 it was Dhoni, 2009 it was Pietersen and Flintoff, 2010 it was K.Pollard and in 2011 it was G.Gambhir and Y.Pathan. All these 6 players were bought for highest bid by the repsective franchises. But not of them made significant contribution for their teams. Now it is R.Jadeja. What he will do?

  • Brad on February 5, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    Saw him last night against the Aussies very average no better than a park cricketer 2 million is way over the odds

  • Snehil on February 5, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    He needs to work really hard on his batting. He has got several opportunities in the past to win matches with the bat for India but has failed almost every time. Hence basically he is a bowling all rounder, who can stop the flow of runs, who can bat a bit and is a good fielder. Spending 2 million for a player like this, is a bit of a surprise from a team like CSK.

  • Dummy4 on February 5, 2012, 2:56 GMT

    10 crores for Jadeja?? Biggest mistake, he is going to be a big flop!!

  • Dummy4 on February 5, 2012, 2:28 GMT

    If I was the one who was bidding I'd have stopped at 700,000. He's an average cricketer. He can't hit the big one, he can't take the big wicket. Surely he'll be useful but not worth this much.

  • Dummy4 on February 4, 2012, 22:42 GMT

    i won't say jadeja is not a good player, but wow this is a whooping amount spent and i really don't think this is his fair "market value" in other words, he is overvalued. Whatever, i don't give a toss about IPL, the standard of BBL and the standard bank t20 is much better. I still find it hard to believe that kevin o brien had no buyers, perhaps because you are only allowed 4 foreign players in the playing eleven, and only 11 in the total squad, but goes to show jadeja still hasn't even cemented his place in the indian one day international side, and this guy is making so much money, who gives a bugger about the indian cap anymore?

  • Amit on February 4, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    Underpriced compared to Vinay Kumar...

  • Vikram on February 4, 2012, 20:56 GMT

    I do agree with people that his talent is average. But then, I would choose the likes of Raina, Kohli and Jadeja who might be limited in talent, but are overflowing with attitude than a Sachin or a Sehwag who might be overflowing in talent, but come up short on attitude (at least in recent times). But again, that is just me.

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