June 28, 2013

Can Jadeja step up (again)?

The Champions Trophy was a coming of age; now he needs to deliver on his promise on the Test match stage
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In spite of Shikhar Dhawan's highly skilled and audacious batting, in spite of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's calm and yet out-of-the-box leadership, my player of the tournament at the Champions Trophy was Ravindra Jadeja. It wasn't a difficult choice. Dhawan and Dhoni were giants of the tournament but every time India needed a game-changing moment, Jadeja was in the picture. You sought him out in the field, you counted how many overs he had left and you backed him to get a big over with the bat in the end.

You judge players by whether they comfort you or unsettle you. Images get built over time and create expectation or anxiety. Then they are reinforced. If you fear a bowler is going to concede that big over and he does, the moment stays longer in the mind. So too with the match-winner.

For the first three years of his career, Jadeja unsettled you. If you needed 30 at a run a ball or the opposition needed nine an over in the last five, you worried when he came on. He gave the impression he did too.

In the Champions Trophy, though, his body language was infectious. And he produced the game-changing moments. He got the crucial runs at the end against South Africa (47 not out from 29 balls), produced the run-out of Robin Peterson and bowled nine overs for 31 in a 6.5-an-over game.

West Indies were 103 for 1 inside the 20th over, then lost three wickets for six in four overs, all to Jadeja.

Against Pakistan, he befuddled Misbah-ul-Haq at a crucial moment, and his dismissal of Mahela Jayawardene in the semi-final showed he could get a mighty player of spin undone by cleverly camouflaged change of pace. So, by now, a reputation had been built. You knew he was the captain's go-to cricketer but you waited to see if he could do it on the big day.

At two points in the final, India looked gone. After 14 overs they were 67 for 5, and Dhoni's hope for 130 meant the score had to be doubled in the last six. Virat Kohli set the scene with a largely undervalued 43, but it still needed the final flourish that Jadeja's 33 from 25 provided.

I thought his real graduation came in the last two overs of the game. He bowled the 19th, a Powerplay over, after Ishant Sharma's drama-filled 18th, and conceded a mere four with 19 needed. He might just have given Dhoni his seventh batsman and fifth bowler, and the fact that it didn't surprise anyone showed it was a coming of age. Where once you feared the moment, you were now reassured. Jadeja had climbed the ladder.

For the first three years of his career, Jadeja unsettled you. If you needed 30 at a run a ball or the opposition needed nine an over in the last five, you worried when he came on

He was expected to. In May 2008, Shane Warne introduced me to his "rock star", a young batsman who bowled a bit. On the 26th, Mumbai Indians were playing Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur on a really slow pitch. Chasing 146, Royals were down to 103 for 5 after 17 overs. Forty-three were needed from three, against a side with international bowlers. Royals had two young left-handers batting for them; Niraj Patel of Gujarat and Ravindra Jadeja. They batted fearlessly, ran like the wind between the wickets, and got there off the last ball. Patel was the better batsman that day but Jadeja was the one you remembered because Warne had said he was good.

It was to be a double-edged sword because it raised expectations, and over the next three years it hurt him. I am not sure he was ready for the pressure situations he found himself in, and as he faltered, the burden grew. As the burden grew, it made it more difficult for someone who was still a very young man. By 2011 he was on a downward spiral and the butt of jokes by unforgiving bloggers who hid behind assumed names. You still kept track of him but he needed to hit you with his performances.

He did. The following year he hit three triple-centuries and bowled long spells on surfaces that gave him nothing. It forced him to be accurate and patient, and in retrospect that period away from the limelight forced him to look at his game again. When he got a surprise call up for the Nagpur Test against England, he was able to bowl 70 overs at under two an over. And it was his accuracy that brought him all those wickets against Australia.

Now he must battle expectations again. And he must deliver in conditions that will not be as friendly as the ones England put out. In one-day cricket it may not be as big a challenge as in Test cricket, where India still seek this elusive five-bowler line-up. In Test matches in South Africa, in England, in New Zealand and Australia (the next four on India's calendar), he will have to bat at No. 6, and that is an examination he hasn't faced yet. I believe that is where he must eventually gravitate towards. India's ideal balance will lie in Jadeja becoming the batting allrounder and Ashwin, at No. 8, the bowling allrounder. In Test cricket Jadeja is still very much work in progress.

The Champions Trophy has been a giant leap for him. And the next 20 months are full of opportunity and challenge. He must relish both.

Harsha Bhogle is a television presenter, writer, and a commentator on IPL and other cricket. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY tony_joe on | June 28, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    Every look of Jadeja on the field exudes confidence and happiness..He seems to enjoys the game and the pressure and hence he is relaxed. His intensity can be gauged from his after-wicket celebrations. So, apart from skills , the other things thatare needed to make a cricketer great are ample in Jadeja. However, its still his early days and he should evolve more as time passes by to transform promise to greatness.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | June 28, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    Ravi Jadeja exudes great & justified confidence in all that he does on the cricket field. He, along with the other young guns now taking their places in the Indian sides,(Dhawan, B Kumar & Yadav most prominently) is the future of the game in India. And it's a bright future too. His bowling, once regarded as offering little threat, is now accurate & can be destructive. Provided he can learn to build an innings in TC, he should be the complete package (a highest score of 43 in five Tests thus far suggests that this is one aspect of his game that still needs attention). Especially, it's great to see that he & the other young players are now significantly raising the standard of India's performance in the field. I've said this many, many times: a strong India, esp. in the Test arena, is thoroughly good for world cricket. I can only hope that his infectious enthusiasm is not not lost & that he & the rest remember that nothing's more important than representing your country round the world.

  • POSTED BY Sir_Ivor on | June 28, 2013, 5:04 GMT

    I have been writing for a long time now as a comment maker that Ravindra Jadeja is the modern day Vinoo Mankad. The difference is that while the great Vinoo bowled left and batted right handed Jadeja bowls and bats left handed. Both hail from a part of India which has given us the likes of Ranji,Duleep,Hanumant and now Pujara.All known for their phenomenal exploits in cricket. Jadeja bowls a bit round arm like Mankad used to.I am fortunate to have seen him in 1954 at the Brabourne Stadium when India played the Commonwealth team called the SJOC.And of course fortunate to be alive to narrate the similarity between them. Both of them had this appetite for big scores which we have yet to see from Jadeja at the Test level but we will very soon. What I like most about Jadeja is that he has the temperament of a future great. When Mankad used to play, no one talked about the 5 bowler theory.He could be depended upon as a great batsman and a great bowler specifically.Yes Jadeja will be the same

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 4:15 GMT

    I had doubts over Jadeja myself, but I am happy that he has stepped up and silenced his critics for now. He has very much cemented his spot in the shorter formats. The challenge for him, as Harsha points, will be in the longer format now. But, it does seem to me as if he has matured as a cricketer, and would cement his spot in the test line up as well.

  • POSTED BY Doconcall on | June 28, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    I still don't understand why there are still doubts about Jadeja. I think he has proven himself over the past year that he can bowl, bad and field fearlessly. He has grown into confidence. He is able to take wickets at the most crucial times. He baffled Australia in India and people were saying that he has to prove his metal in foreign conditions. Now that he has achieved success in England, people say that he got lucky. Common guys....to me, he is the next Ravi Shastri, who can bowl and bat. This lad can even field. All the great spinners in world cricket are off spinners with different variations. The world is lacking a quality left spin bowler, which Jadeja can be. Although, he might not be a great turner of ball, his variations in speed and length are very good. Keep it up boy.....I am sure you will be successful everywhere you go. Good Job!!

  • POSTED BY roversgate on | June 28, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    Good article, Jadeja was in my opinion also the man of the tournament. After bilateral test series, cricinfo gives points out of 10, in which case Dhawan would get a 9.5/10 while Jadeja would get the full 10/10. He has earned his spot in the limited overs matches and his ability to handle pressure situations has drastically improved. I think it was most on show in his IPL campaign with Kochi. He would come in 6 down with lots of early wickets and nearly take the game away from the opposition with surprising regularity. Good for him, he deserves the stuff coming his way.

  • POSTED BY Temuzin on | July 1, 2013, 16:37 GMT

    I have been a Jadeja Fan all along. Even when people were making fun of him. Now he has shown his class and utility in limited over games, he is relaxed and happy. But the greatest strength of Jadeja is in playing long innings (3 triple centuries) and that's what gives me the confidence that his batting in test will make him great. If only Dhoni can send him to pair with Pujara up the order and allow him to play his natural game without the pressure and expectation of scoring quick and fast like ODIs. Jadeja will repeat his feat of scoring three triple centuries in domestic cricket. Go Sir Ji go.

  • POSTED BY Aucontraire on | June 30, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    Ref Sir Ivor comparison of Jadeja with Vinoo Mankad has a special echo for me, coming from Jamnagar and being a nephew of the Great Vinoo. Yes, Jadeja does pride to the great tradition of awesome cricketers hailing from Jamnagar / Saurashtra. While his bowling has the edge that Mankad showed, Jadeja has some way to go in his batting record to be compared to the great man. After all, Mankad used to open for India, and that too after toiling for countless overs in an innings. But given chance and luck, I am sure Jadeja will prove a worthy successor. The good news is that his bowling will succeed even on wickets outside the sub-continent, given his relative pace and ability to slide and skid the ball off the wicket!

  • POSTED BY DaisonGarvasis on | June 30, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    One big difference from Jadeja 2 years ago and Jadeja now is - NOW HE IS SOOO HAPPY TO BE THERE!!! You can remember how tensed he looked when coming on to bat at a crucial stage or having asked to bowl at a similar stage! Look at him now!!! When there is a critical situation, he STANDS UP AND GETS COUNTED. No matter what anybody thinks of him, but whatever favorable situations the opposition finds themselves in, until they have dealt with what Jadeja has to dish out, they are not through. Be in the late overs flourish with the bat or those accurate "fast-medium spin" bowling! Gradually he is getting there, and more importantly the opposition is having to make plans for him!!!

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2013, 18:16 GMT

    Jadeja cant be called either a batting allrounder or a bowling allrounder. He gives THE BEST in both areas n so undoubtedly SIR is best to be called, not to forget his fielding. I had to mention this,His fielding at deep midwicket is so fearless . He picks themm soo quicklyy n throws them damn accurately. Seriouslyy a Big asset for Indian Cricket. Good to see him getting his rhythm back. N thnxx to Captain cool for having using him soo wiselyy. Apart from his cool mind , SIR is also a mantra for MSDs success. I wuld also love to see YUVI n JADDU to bowl together the middle overs for India.

  • POSTED BY tony_joe on | June 28, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    Every look of Jadeja on the field exudes confidence and happiness..He seems to enjoys the game and the pressure and hence he is relaxed. His intensity can be gauged from his after-wicket celebrations. So, apart from skills , the other things thatare needed to make a cricketer great are ample in Jadeja. However, its still his early days and he should evolve more as time passes by to transform promise to greatness.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | June 28, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    Ravi Jadeja exudes great & justified confidence in all that he does on the cricket field. He, along with the other young guns now taking their places in the Indian sides,(Dhawan, B Kumar & Yadav most prominently) is the future of the game in India. And it's a bright future too. His bowling, once regarded as offering little threat, is now accurate & can be destructive. Provided he can learn to build an innings in TC, he should be the complete package (a highest score of 43 in five Tests thus far suggests that this is one aspect of his game that still needs attention). Especially, it's great to see that he & the other young players are now significantly raising the standard of India's performance in the field. I've said this many, many times: a strong India, esp. in the Test arena, is thoroughly good for world cricket. I can only hope that his infectious enthusiasm is not not lost & that he & the rest remember that nothing's more important than representing your country round the world.

  • POSTED BY Sir_Ivor on | June 28, 2013, 5:04 GMT

    I have been writing for a long time now as a comment maker that Ravindra Jadeja is the modern day Vinoo Mankad. The difference is that while the great Vinoo bowled left and batted right handed Jadeja bowls and bats left handed. Both hail from a part of India which has given us the likes of Ranji,Duleep,Hanumant and now Pujara.All known for their phenomenal exploits in cricket. Jadeja bowls a bit round arm like Mankad used to.I am fortunate to have seen him in 1954 at the Brabourne Stadium when India played the Commonwealth team called the SJOC.And of course fortunate to be alive to narrate the similarity between them. Both of them had this appetite for big scores which we have yet to see from Jadeja at the Test level but we will very soon. What I like most about Jadeja is that he has the temperament of a future great. When Mankad used to play, no one talked about the 5 bowler theory.He could be depended upon as a great batsman and a great bowler specifically.Yes Jadeja will be the same

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 4:15 GMT

    I had doubts over Jadeja myself, but I am happy that he has stepped up and silenced his critics for now. He has very much cemented his spot in the shorter formats. The challenge for him, as Harsha points, will be in the longer format now. But, it does seem to me as if he has matured as a cricketer, and would cement his spot in the test line up as well.

  • POSTED BY Doconcall on | June 28, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    I still don't understand why there are still doubts about Jadeja. I think he has proven himself over the past year that he can bowl, bad and field fearlessly. He has grown into confidence. He is able to take wickets at the most crucial times. He baffled Australia in India and people were saying that he has to prove his metal in foreign conditions. Now that he has achieved success in England, people say that he got lucky. Common guys....to me, he is the next Ravi Shastri, who can bowl and bat. This lad can even field. All the great spinners in world cricket are off spinners with different variations. The world is lacking a quality left spin bowler, which Jadeja can be. Although, he might not be a great turner of ball, his variations in speed and length are very good. Keep it up boy.....I am sure you will be successful everywhere you go. Good Job!!

  • POSTED BY roversgate on | June 28, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    Good article, Jadeja was in my opinion also the man of the tournament. After bilateral test series, cricinfo gives points out of 10, in which case Dhawan would get a 9.5/10 while Jadeja would get the full 10/10. He has earned his spot in the limited overs matches and his ability to handle pressure situations has drastically improved. I think it was most on show in his IPL campaign with Kochi. He would come in 6 down with lots of early wickets and nearly take the game away from the opposition with surprising regularity. Good for him, he deserves the stuff coming his way.

  • POSTED BY Temuzin on | July 1, 2013, 16:37 GMT

    I have been a Jadeja Fan all along. Even when people were making fun of him. Now he has shown his class and utility in limited over games, he is relaxed and happy. But the greatest strength of Jadeja is in playing long innings (3 triple centuries) and that's what gives me the confidence that his batting in test will make him great. If only Dhoni can send him to pair with Pujara up the order and allow him to play his natural game without the pressure and expectation of scoring quick and fast like ODIs. Jadeja will repeat his feat of scoring three triple centuries in domestic cricket. Go Sir Ji go.

  • POSTED BY Aucontraire on | June 30, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    Ref Sir Ivor comparison of Jadeja with Vinoo Mankad has a special echo for me, coming from Jamnagar and being a nephew of the Great Vinoo. Yes, Jadeja does pride to the great tradition of awesome cricketers hailing from Jamnagar / Saurashtra. While his bowling has the edge that Mankad showed, Jadeja has some way to go in his batting record to be compared to the great man. After all, Mankad used to open for India, and that too after toiling for countless overs in an innings. But given chance and luck, I am sure Jadeja will prove a worthy successor. The good news is that his bowling will succeed even on wickets outside the sub-continent, given his relative pace and ability to slide and skid the ball off the wicket!

  • POSTED BY DaisonGarvasis on | June 30, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    One big difference from Jadeja 2 years ago and Jadeja now is - NOW HE IS SOOO HAPPY TO BE THERE!!! You can remember how tensed he looked when coming on to bat at a crucial stage or having asked to bowl at a similar stage! Look at him now!!! When there is a critical situation, he STANDS UP AND GETS COUNTED. No matter what anybody thinks of him, but whatever favorable situations the opposition finds themselves in, until they have dealt with what Jadeja has to dish out, they are not through. Be in the late overs flourish with the bat or those accurate "fast-medium spin" bowling! Gradually he is getting there, and more importantly the opposition is having to make plans for him!!!

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2013, 18:16 GMT

    Jadeja cant be called either a batting allrounder or a bowling allrounder. He gives THE BEST in both areas n so undoubtedly SIR is best to be called, not to forget his fielding. I had to mention this,His fielding at deep midwicket is so fearless . He picks themm soo quicklyy n throws them damn accurately. Seriouslyy a Big asset for Indian Cricket. Good to see him getting his rhythm back. N thnxx to Captain cool for having using him soo wiselyy. Apart from his cool mind , SIR is also a mantra for MSDs success. I wuld also love to see YUVI n JADDU to bowl together the middle overs for India.

  • POSTED BY PeterJerome on | June 29, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    @Abhinav Pathak: Yuvraj Singh is leaps and bounds ahead of Sir Ravindra Jadeja, but what puts me off about Yuvraj is his lethargic attitude towards the game. Expected to see a 180 degree change in his attitude after his return, but he is still found wanting in that area. Personally, I miss him too. All the best RJ. Big challenge ahead, nail it or fail it. The ball is in your court.

  • POSTED BY gtr800 on | June 29, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    I believe a fair amount of credit should be given to Dhoni. Only under his captaincy has this great talent been able to flourish. If any other captain would have been then who knows if we would have a world class all-rounder soo young in the Indian cricket team.

  • POSTED BY Amit_4_Sachin on | June 29, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    He's too good a bowler to be just a batting all-rounder. He has all the makings of a pure all-rounder, something we have missed since the great Kapil Dev.

  • POSTED BY Rahulbose on | June 29, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    Jadeja is a symbol of declining cricket standards. His bowling is part time spinner quality, but these days players can't even handle that. His batting is T20 specialist quality, as is good for 30-40 run cameos. Fielding is good given that he is from India.

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    He may have been proved very good in Spinning Indian pitches .....but remember he is playing in place of Yuvraj singh and evrytym I compare them...evryone knows who's better

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    He has matured a lot and played some crucial knock with the bat.. From the start of his career dhoni was worried on jadeja's batting than bowling.. Now dhoni will be a happy man.. Yes it is early days ,his first class batting avg is over 50.. He can be the good all rounder in tests also...

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 29, 2013, 3:09 GMT

    jaddu.. ur a real hero man

  • POSTED BY Divinetouch on | June 29, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    Wonderful article. I thoroughly enjoy your commentaries as well especially when sharing the mike with the best opening batsman ever - Shri Sunil Gavaskar.

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    If Irfan Pathan could produce even 80% of his original bowling skills at the test level, Dhoni would end up with a good side - bowling could be Jadeja, Ashwin, Pathan, Yadav & Ishant...good batting depth as well. ....backups - Amit Mishra, Bhajji, Bhuvi, Mohit Sharma, Varun Aaron, Vinay, Shami.....

    I wonder what the test side would be for India -

    Dhawan, Vijay, Pujara, Sharma, Dhoni,Jadeja, Kohli, Pathan, Ashwin, Yadav & Ishant (Jadeja going ahead of Kohli only to bring a left-hander in between) - any thoughts....

    If Pathan cannot recapture his bowling form, I guess it will be Bhuvi.

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | June 28, 2013, 19:00 GMT

    Brilliant words by Harsha when he says that ------"You judge players by whether they comfort you or unsettle you. Images get built over time and create expectation or anxiety. Then they are reinforced. If you fear a bowler is going to concede that big over and he does, the moment stays longer in the mind."------

    Throughout this CT2013, each time you saw Jadeja on the screen, one felt good, one felt calmed. Jadeja's picture acted as a baby-soother to us. Jadeja with the bat meant we'd expect some quick runs and Jadeja with the ball meant we all were actually expecting wickets, not merely tight overs. An imp role that Jadeja played this time was that more than Ashwin, it was he who made the batsman aware of the spin available. He made them suspect with his coming-in-then-going-away balls to the RHB. In the final, Jadeja looked dangerous all the time.

    Now, going back to that quote of Harsha, how would Ishant Sharma feel reading that?

  • POSTED BY ProdigyA on | June 28, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    I have been one of those many critics of Jadeja, rediculing him at every chance and even bashing Dhoni for backing him so much. But he just slapped me hard and many like me with his performance and Im actually enjoying it. Respect #Jadeja. I cant be more happy for team India.

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 15:04 GMT

    In all the matches, each moment, I kept record of Jadeja's overs since these are the ones which were supposed to be low scoring overs. For me he was the best bowlers of the tournament. India won matches in the middle overs with Jadeja leading the way with Ashwin.

  • POSTED BY ravi_hari on | June 28, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    Rich tributes and deservingly for RJ. It was just about a year ago when RJ was snubbed and dropped from the side. It was a good decision by the selectors to dump him and asking him to go back to domestic cricket. That made him stronger and with determination he made triple hundreds and learnt the art of breaking partnerships. The best thing about him is he keeps things simple and like Raju used to do alongside Kumble, he runs his overs through very quickly. That helps the captain put a lot pf pressure on the batsmen and gets results. Also the tag of an under-rated cricketer suits RJ as people try to take on him and succumb. The lack of spin most of the times and unexpected turn and bounce occasionally helps RJ surprise best of batsmen and gets him wickets. The best possible No. 7 for India and a spinner allrounder we have been searching for so long after Ravi Shastri. His fielding is a huge bonus and that suits Dhoni's scheme of things. Succeed in SA and prove your critics wrong RJ!

  • POSTED BY Vkarthik on | June 28, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    Don't jinx "Sir", Harsha. Rightnow he is having time of his life. Let him enjoy.

  • POSTED BY zorrotsongo on | June 28, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    Expectations would spoil players ability. Let them enjoy their natural game, don't put pressure on them every time when they come to bat or bowl. In every tournament fortune may swing players to players, however, class players would perform consistently though unnoticed by many. In this series, Dhawan and Jadeja were excellent. Both should not forget that the people memories are very short, like today's newspaper tomorrow's waste paper. Therefore, they have to keep on improving their skills to become a class player.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | June 28, 2013, 13:47 GMT

    I agree with Sir_Ivor's comment re: Jadeja having the potential of the great Vinoo Mankad, I have watched them both in action. However Vinoo was an exceptionally willy Fox. He was so accurate that you can put a penny on the pitch & he could hit it every time. Secondly his variation of spin, flight & pace while bowling at the same spot was unique with an armour to boot. These skills require years of dedication & Mankad exemplified it. As for Mankad's batting, Just look at his Lords Test Match. After bowling about 96 overs to get 5 wkts for 190, he opened the innings to score 72 in the first innings. When India followed on Mankad again opened the innings to score 184 against the likes of Trueman at his best. Mankad was on his feet on all 5 days of the Match - was heart & soul of India. Jadeja has a long way to go but he has some of Mankad's attributes. However, Jadeja is a brilliant fielder & athlete which is one area he excels Mankad. Good Luck Sir Jadeja- hope you will be new V. Mankad

  • POSTED BY IndianInnerEdge on | June 28, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    Nice article , has summed up very accurately, Started liking RJ when he said he is in for the long haul read test cricket.......always felt the 'SIR' jokes were a tad too unfriendly.....if he keeps this up...he could be the allrounder indian cricket needed....All the best RJ.....at least you have shown behind the rockstar shades, there is a thinking cricketer.....

  • POSTED BY SasiGladi on | June 28, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    Some how I have feeling Indian bowling bunch will be strong in SA, when India toured last to SA Harbhajan rocked - dont forget we leveled the series only because Kallis played life time inings in the last test, I am sure duo Ash and Jad will have great impact in the series ....Bhuvi, Ish and Udhav looks good esp Bhu..

  • POSTED BY wolf777 on | June 28, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    Another allrounder from Jamnagar who is a slow left arm spinner. Vinoo Mankad and Salim Durrani were also from Jamnagar. Rvindra Jadeja provides same kind of balance and flexibility to the team as did Ravi Shashtri. Now India can go into a Test Match with two spinners when playing in India and four fast bowlers when playing in places like England, Australia and New Zealand.

  • POSTED BY spinkingKK on | June 28, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    @ Sir_Ivor, it is great to read a comment like yours. All I know about Vinoo Mankad is that he was a great Indian player. When someone can compare him with the new generation Jadeja by remembering the details, it is really wonderful.

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    indeed he is better option among other,Pathan ,tiwari and some other guys,Jadeja gives an extra edge ,for me + is his feilding he is d best in d world.throwing capability of his is best in indian team,from any corner of ground his throw is bang on.i wish him to rise high and high.may god bless him.

  • POSTED BY Arun.Iyer on | June 28, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    Let's be fair and a bit critical. And let's maintain a state of equanimity. Firstly, let's give Jadeja absolute credit to how he's turned around in Indian cricket. He was every fan's enemy, still possibly many's, but he's earned the respect from millions from brilliant performances against Oz in the tests and the CT recently. His energy and intensity is there to see and a lovely talent.

    Now having said that, let's not jump to conclusions that he's the answer. He's replaced a big match winner in Yuvi and let's not forget Yuvi's consistent contribution in limited over tournaments. If Jadeja can consistently do that and in different conditions, he's here for good!

  • POSTED BY Al_Bundy1 on | June 28, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    Jadeja and Dhawan were outstanding in the Champions Trophy. Having said that, I still feel that Jadeja's game is more suited towards the shorter formats of the game - ODI and T20. He may not be that successful in tests. For tests, we need an orthodox spinner like Parvez Rasool. He is a classic off spinner in the mould of Graeme Swann. The great Bishen Singh Bedi had a lot of praise for Rasool. He comes from the cricketing back waters of Kashmir. This is where the selectors need to step up and make some bold choices in the bowling department.

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    When CSK signed up this Million $ baby in IPL, having read about his immature attitude and antics at the time, I was very skeptical that money will get to his head and he will lose his way. Credit to him that he did not let that happen and credit to Dhoni that he kept Jadeja grounded. I am sure that Dhoni's grooming helped him evolve as a better player, in addition to his Ranji trophy experiences. Now BCCI and its selectors must manage this player well. He can serve India for many years in more than one format.

  • POSTED BY anuradha_d on | June 28, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    Didn't he deliver in tests already?......4 in a row vs. Aus and the one test at Nagpur vs. Eng ? and then likes of Bhogle were saying that he has to prove himself outside the subcontinent.....now he has done that.....so Bhogle is back to asking him to prove himself in tests......sometimes, just sometimes, sit back and enjoy and applaud the good show put up in the present instead of discounting it with one convoluted logic or the other..

  • POSTED BY insightfulcricketer on | June 28, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    There are many parallels between 1985 and 2013 both mini-World Cups.Both times India won all its matches. There were two-three flash in the pan cricketers in that team who did great in the tournament- Ravi Shastri, Sadananad Viswanath and Laxman Siva who never did anything significant after that series. I just hope Dhawan and Jadeja double down on a self-journey just begun and not think that win was the end.

  • POSTED BY concerned_cricketer on | June 28, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    Nice article. Dhawan and Jadeja - both were a revelation. It must be the mustache that does the trick!

    Eagerly waiting for the next test series.

  • POSTED BY Baundele on | June 28, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    Surely he can, if the BCCI continues backing him up.

  • POSTED BY muski on | June 28, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    Harsha- Typically in Indian cricket, the legends over the last 3 and half decades, have been ones who have come though the grind at every level. Even before Sachin played his first test, there was a buzz about this Mumbai wonderboy who would be the next little master. It is one thing to generate this hype, it is totally different thing to make that a reality at the International level and sustain it over a extended period of time. The Dhawans and Jadejas have by now tasted success, money and fame. At this point of time, it looks like their confidence too is sky high. If they can continue to bank their talent to back this confidence, there is no reason why these 2 guys will not become the pivots of the Indian team in all the 3 formats. Only time will tell.

  • POSTED BY CricketMaan on | June 28, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    The greates challange is sustaining pressure and delivering. Remember we said similar things about Irfan and injuries + expectations has let him down. Jadeja needs to stay away from injuries, gain confidence and deliver under pressure else he too could sucumb.

  • POSTED BY shakersid on | June 28, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    A very important point that not many cricket journalists have mentioned is the impact of Ranji Trophy on this latest generation of International cricketers India is producing. Harsha is one of the few commentators to have noticed that. Dhawan, Jadeja, Pujara and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are the ones who have honed their skills playing Ranji. Jadeja and Dhawan in the earlier stints were not that good, and only after put the hard work in first class cricket were they able to come back and perform.

    If you look at those cricketers who were fast tracked without much first class experience, it has taken them a while to get started. Ishant and Rohit Sharma come to mind. Ishant needs to go back and play more games for Delhi. Rohit on the other hand has been performing excellently for Mumbai, and should now be given a test cap.

    I just hope the players realise this and start taking more pride in their Ranji matches. I for one, am looking forward to UP taking back the Ranji title next season.

  • POSTED BY 100_rabh on | June 28, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    Article was good but stated the obvious. Best part of the article was 1st featured comment by Sir_Ivor. Could not have come from any of the media experts because they dont have such a wealth of experience. Would be nice to sit with you and discuss cricket, real cricket..the test cricket.

  • POSTED BY howizzat on | June 28, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    Its nice to see that finally ppl started writing articles on Ravindra Jadeja. When he debuted into ODI, within few innings he showed himself how useful a player he is. He kept a low profile and his non glamorous attitude won a few admirers for him. Almost everybody started trolling him and wanted a replacement. The all-rounder tag was misnomer as he was more of a bowler. He put his bowling in simplest form, he bowled wicket to wicket giving least number of wides. His 10 overs as a fifth bowler kept run-rate very well in control( On an av 4per over). During that period he was bowling better than Harbhajan and Zaheer, who were going 6 per over. The utility player was dropped for no reasons. But an IPL season with Kochi Tuskers saw him in a new Avtaar and gave recognition too. From that there was looking back for Jadeja and today he is matured as a true all-rounder and a surprisingly a lead bowler. Truely deserved Man of the tournament.

  • POSTED BY itismenithin on | June 28, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    spot on Harsha, his true test will come in test cricket abroad.

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    Great thoughts Harsha. Being an international cricketer you need to prove yourself time and again. A good performance in 3-4 series wins u praise but suddenly low performance in 1-2 series....criticisms will be back. It has been the case with most of the cricketers and a handfull of them has been a regular in all formats, be it India or any other nation. We all know the talent Yuvraj possess but if you can't maintain the consistency, you have to create space for others. Same with Sehwag and Gambhir...past performances will not ensure a place for long if we have palyers to fill in. For Jadeja, his comeback is tremendous and he knows the reality of failing. Be it Test Match or One Dayers or even T20....if you have the will to succeed you will cement your place. Dhoni very rightly mentioned in the post match presentation of the Finals of CT13 that talent is necessary but it's the will to succeed more important.

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    the article hit bulls' eye, great thing abt harsha is he's mindset matches with the wavelength of fan's mindset. his article's spks from the fan's point of view rather than a cricketer's insight. coming 2 jadeja, its great seeing him grow in confidence. credit goes 2 dhoni too for handling him well.

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    I dont know if Jadeja can bowl medium pace, but pretty sure he will do that too. Under Dhoni's leadership he will bowl some legcutters, offcutters and time again will change complexion of the game. Make no mistake he could be our next Sir Gary Sobers. There are lot of similarities between these two. I know I am expecting too much but there is no harm in wishing something out of box!!!

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 8:36 GMT

    jadeja is a must in ODIS and T20S,he is a must in test matches(only-subcontinent) but if u select jadeja for test series(in SA) then it will be a huge gamble ,he will definitely struggle with the bat in SA and if he struggles then it will weaken IND batting....i don't know whether our top 6 batsmen can post high scores consistently in SA,if u go with the combination of 6batsmen(including dhoni) and 5 bowlers then there is no problem in picking jadeja but if u want to go with 7 batsmen then u need to leave him out of the xi......

  • POSTED BY RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on | June 28, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    harsha bhogle, why should jadeja bat at no6 in the next few test tours? cant dhoni bat there?

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    wonderful Articel Harsha on Jadeja when we saw him for the first time in Indian team We expect more from because his excellent IPL career and he did it, But he never did that on continue base, But i think he is more matured now. The best thing about him is he'll never forgot basics, That's why he is in this postion

  • POSTED BY vsroc on | June 28, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    Posted by Venkat Sraman on (June 30,2013) It is quite true that Ravindera Jadeja must be declared as man of the Champions Trophy since he rose to the occasion whenever India was in need of quick runs/breakthrough of opposition partnership.

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    A great article on the development of Jadeja as a reliable cricketer. Jadeja is no magic man but he does the small things well that matter in cricket. Bowling accurately, fielding well and batting straight. His self confidence seems to improved a great deal after the Australian Test series. Hope he continues to do the little things right.

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | June 28, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    I often wondered why he became "SIR" and this was from Dhoni himself. This guy has some good accurate spin and if a batsman misses those clean bowls will be seen. He has always been a terrific fielder.Not only does he get clean bowls - he gets stumpings off his bowling, return catches and lbws. A complete bowler. Dhoni has so much confidence in him that his name will be first on the team sheet. Good article by Harsha. Lots comments have come about Dhoni's favorites but at the end of the day Dhoni behind the stumps is comfortable with some of his bowlers.

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    Good article by Harsha! I do feel that Jadeja was exceptional in the Champions Trophy, but it is very much true that he still hasn't realised his immense batting potential in International Cricket... He hasn't hit three triple tons for nothing and I firmly feel that he is a long term no.6 batsman in tests... his bowling has improved by leaps and bounds and that is a great sign for the team... Dhawan, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Rohit/Rahane/Tiwary, Jadeja, Dhoni, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Umesh and Zaheer/Ishant (with Ojha as back up) should be the team walking out in South Africa in November...

  • POSTED BY US_Indian on | June 28, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    I fully agree with "LoveTeamIndia" comments. It is either too early to put him on such a high pedestal or is it the creation of MSD since his company is managing his commitments and contacts, whatever the case may be, only thing you can say with confidence is consistency in fielding, both bowling and batting is a long way to go. Give him time and space atleast 2 to 3 years of consistency will prove his worth otherwise for me he is another aayaram gayaram just like many more before him including Ishant, Rohit. I still fail to understand why guys like Rayudu or Uthappa are being consistently sidelined and made to warm the benches just like Dhawan they are ripe and mature to bear fruits to Indian cricket and fans . Now they can rotate guys which could test their mettle and also to keep fresh and fit players who can be summoned to duty at any given time. I would also suggest bringing in Aparajitha , Vihari and Unmukt into the reckoning so that these youngsters get the proper grooming.

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    Jadeja is not a big spinner of ball. He is more like Anil Kumble who can take a lot of wickets with nagging accuracy, speed variation and out-thinking batsman. Then he is one of the finest fielders, I've seen. He can remain with team on these two accounts only. Batting is a plus, if he shows half of the promise with bat as he showed with 3 triple centuries, India have an Ace at hand and will be greatly served.

  • POSTED BY CricPrachi on | June 28, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    I just love your articles Harsha!

  • POSTED BY LoveTeamIndia on | June 28, 2013, 5:59 GMT

    Doesn't matter if he can step up. Jadeja was included in the Indian team in test matches vs Australia in place of the man-in-form Pragyan Ojha. As long as Jadeja is in Dhoni's good book, Dhoni will find some way to keep Sir-ji in the Indian team. Just like Rohit and Ishant Sharma are in the Indian team in spite of performing well once in every ten matches.

  • POSTED BY MasterPradeep on | June 28, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    Since I have been following cricket I haven't seen a cricketer after facing the worst initial couple of years in International cricket hang on to the team (thanks to the backing of MS Dhoni - his move worked perfectly when it mattered) turn into a go-to man for the team in quick time and is now a vital member of the team. And who would have thought that Yuvraj Singh will be replaced by this guy. And to perform at the country where he was told to be responsible for the loss due to his poor batting techniques at the T20 world cup held years back was special for any cricketer. He still have to carry on to achieve many more glories and trophies. All the best 'Rock Star' Jaddu.

    Fantastic article once again sir. I've always found words to my thinking in your works and this time too.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 28, 2013, 4:45 GMT

    Balanced and well written article. Jadeja has shut his critics up (including me) but the daggers will get drawn out very quickly once again on his failure to perform. His success has to be put down to an unflinching faith in him of skipper MSD. Its great he was able to justify the faith shown in him. So I hope for India's sake, Jadeja will prove people like me wrong once again because a lot of people may still think he is overrated

  • POSTED BY armchair_critic on | June 28, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    Factual error: R Jadeja did not hit 3 triple centuries in a year. He hit 2 triple centuries last season and one in the season before last season

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    Once again a very good article by Harsha.. Hope Jadeja does it again and his batting improves in Test Matches..

  • POSTED BY hotcric01 on | June 28, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    Jadeja is not just an ordinary player.He has done so well in domestic circuit(both in batting and bowling) before comes into international cricket.He has won a player of the series award at Ranji trophy.The problem was in his batting in initial stage was inability to clear the boundary,which is required for a No.07 batsman.But now he has developed his skills with experiences in IPL.As a bowler he is more complete now with improved abilities of spin,pace variations and accurate line and lengths.But as a test allrounder he has to prove with the bat.He tries to play more 50+ innings with occasional centuries.With his athletic fielding surely he can be a genuine allrounder in all three formats.Only thing he needs is mental toughness.Are indian fans still calling him as "Sir"?

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 4:24 GMT

    I am in love with both Jadeja and your articles.. And alos looking ahead for both Jadeja and your articles

  • POSTED BY digvijay_5885 on | June 28, 2013, 4:18 GMT

    Hi Harsha,

    Totally agree with your comment that "You judge players by whether they comfort you or unsettle you". And from what we have recently seen from Ashwin as well as Jadeja, I actually feel that In Tests ,Ashwin looks better bet with the bat while jadeja looks better with the ball. We seem fixated with the idea that Jadeja is a batting all-rounder and 3 triple hundreds can have that effect, but he could very well turn out to be a Balling one. I remember you and Nasser hussain discussing this on air during CT13.

    Also in overseas test matches, we may aswell play with 3 Pacers and only Jadeja as the spinner with 7 specialist batsman. Against austalia and in CT13 jadeja looked more threatening that Ashwin, So this idea is not as far fetched as it may seem in first glance.

    Again as you said "In Test cricket Jadeja is still very much work in progress", but the progress may not happen in the direction we expect it to. In any case we as indian cricket fans would not mind as lo

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 4:09 GMT

    i believe if he can overcome the obstacles he faces of being a famous figure in india he will truly be the next holder of no 4 with kohli 5. He may be able to bowl long spells but 3 triple centuries in 1 season shows that he needs to bat higher up in tests anyway.

  • POSTED BY PANKAJ_GOGIYA on | June 28, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    jadeja has really improved a lot...still i think he misses a killer instinct..but i think as the time goes he will get that......best of luck to jadu and india in west indies

  • POSTED BY jango_moh on | June 28, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    why put so much pressure on him... u have raised the expectations again and i think its a bit much.. eventually, yes, but not in the immediate future tests!!! he should be tried in tests at home, but not expect him to be the second spinner abroad yet!!!!!

  • POSTED BY MelbourneMiracle on | June 28, 2013, 3:15 GMT

    The secret behind success of Dhawan & JAdeja is their mustache :D

  • POSTED BY SHER-A-PANJAB on | June 28, 2013, 2:47 GMT

    HI .. Jadeja is a good cricketer and he plays a useful alrounder....but credit goes to captain Dhoni,he did show full confidence in him.....so when you got a player into final squad you should show a possitive attitude towards him because that player or players could become the main axe of your attack in (batting or bowling ) so SOUTH AFRICA should learn a lesson from this because after HANSIE CRONJE captainship no one showed any confidence in their allrounders like (MERWE ,Davidas ,Elgaar,D.jocobs,Levi <and a player who was man of the u_19 world cup,Jennings,many more) i mean to say they dont pay attention towards young talents........That is why M.S Dhoni is a Great captain ...Good luck

  • POSTED BY SHER-A-PANJAB on | June 28, 2013, 2:47 GMT

    HI .. Jadeja is a good cricketer and he plays a useful alrounder....but credit goes to captain Dhoni,he did show full confidence in him.....so when you got a player into final squad you should show a possitive attitude towards him because that player or players could become the main axe of your attack in (batting or bowling ) so SOUTH AFRICA should learn a lesson from this because after HANSIE CRONJE captainship no one showed any confidence in their allrounders like (MERWE ,Davidas ,Elgaar,D.jocobs,Levi <and a player who was man of the u_19 world cup,Jennings,many more) i mean to say they dont pay attention towards young talents........That is why M.S Dhoni is a Great captain ...Good luck

  • POSTED BY MelbourneMiracle on | June 28, 2013, 3:15 GMT

    The secret behind success of Dhawan & JAdeja is their mustache :D

  • POSTED BY jango_moh on | June 28, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    why put so much pressure on him... u have raised the expectations again and i think its a bit much.. eventually, yes, but not in the immediate future tests!!! he should be tried in tests at home, but not expect him to be the second spinner abroad yet!!!!!

  • POSTED BY PANKAJ_GOGIYA on | June 28, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    jadeja has really improved a lot...still i think he misses a killer instinct..but i think as the time goes he will get that......best of luck to jadu and india in west indies

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 4:09 GMT

    i believe if he can overcome the obstacles he faces of being a famous figure in india he will truly be the next holder of no 4 with kohli 5. He may be able to bowl long spells but 3 triple centuries in 1 season shows that he needs to bat higher up in tests anyway.

  • POSTED BY digvijay_5885 on | June 28, 2013, 4:18 GMT

    Hi Harsha,

    Totally agree with your comment that "You judge players by whether they comfort you or unsettle you". And from what we have recently seen from Ashwin as well as Jadeja, I actually feel that In Tests ,Ashwin looks better bet with the bat while jadeja looks better with the ball. We seem fixated with the idea that Jadeja is a batting all-rounder and 3 triple hundreds can have that effect, but he could very well turn out to be a Balling one. I remember you and Nasser hussain discussing this on air during CT13.

    Also in overseas test matches, we may aswell play with 3 Pacers and only Jadeja as the spinner with 7 specialist batsman. Against austalia and in CT13 jadeja looked more threatening that Ashwin, So this idea is not as far fetched as it may seem in first glance.

    Again as you said "In Test cricket Jadeja is still very much work in progress", but the progress may not happen in the direction we expect it to. In any case we as indian cricket fans would not mind as lo

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 4:24 GMT

    I am in love with both Jadeja and your articles.. And alos looking ahead for both Jadeja and your articles

  • POSTED BY hotcric01 on | June 28, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    Jadeja is not just an ordinary player.He has done so well in domestic circuit(both in batting and bowling) before comes into international cricket.He has won a player of the series award at Ranji trophy.The problem was in his batting in initial stage was inability to clear the boundary,which is required for a No.07 batsman.But now he has developed his skills with experiences in IPL.As a bowler he is more complete now with improved abilities of spin,pace variations and accurate line and lengths.But as a test allrounder he has to prove with the bat.He tries to play more 50+ innings with occasional centuries.With his athletic fielding surely he can be a genuine allrounder in all three formats.Only thing he needs is mental toughness.Are indian fans still calling him as "Sir"?

  • POSTED BY on | June 28, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    Once again a very good article by Harsha.. Hope Jadeja does it again and his batting improves in Test Matches..

  • POSTED BY armchair_critic on | June 28, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    Factual error: R Jadeja did not hit 3 triple centuries in a year. He hit 2 triple centuries last season and one in the season before last season