Ravindrasinh Anirudhsinh Jadeja
December 06, 1988, Navagam-Khed, Saurashtra
Left hand bat
Slow left arm orthodox
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." A fellow Gujarati, Mahatma Gandhi, could well have meant to say this about Ravindra Jadeja. The best of observers ignored his left-arm spin at first, then he was ridiculed for his three triple-centuries in Ranji Trophy, the idea of Jadeja the Test player was contested when India handed him a debut in 2012-13 against conventional wisdom, but Jadeja won them all over with over after over of unerring accuracy, and sits among the elite of Indian spin bowling now.
In October 2019, Jadeja became the quickest left-arm bowler to reach 200 Test wickets. In August 2013, he became the first Indian since Anil Kumble - in 1996 - to top the ICC ODI bowling rankings. In the IPL, Jadeja drew a scarcely believable bid of US$2 million in 2012. A few years ago, Shane Warne had nicknamed him "Rockstar" because of his confidence in his own ability and flamboyant ways. His most valuable skill, though, didn't have the glamour of a rockstar: fitness and strength to be able to be at the batsmen for hours, ready to pounce on any assistance from the pitch.
In an era that Jadeja was bound to be overshadowed by the artistry of fellow spinner R Ashwin, he actually kept the senior spinner on his toes and often stole the spot when conditions allowed India to play just one spinner. It helped that he was a captain's dream: arguably the fastest man on the turf and the best fielder in the time that he played, he went on to become an important lower-order batsman, a far cry from the subject of memes that his batting at the start of his career was. The ridicule of his triples - more than any Indian had ever hit in first-class cricket - was actually an indictment of the quality of bowling in Indian domestic cricket at that time.
Even after he had established himself, Jadeja had to fight through a serious shoulder injury and was even dropped from the squad, but he kept coming back. These hardships paled in comparison with the tough childhood in Jamnagar and the early knocks in his cricketing career, including being banned by the IPL for a year for essentially trying to negotiate his salary in the IPL.
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