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Stats Analysis

Ravindra Jadeja - the sting in India's tail

The allrounder adds much needed heft to India's batting down the order

Shiva Jayaraman
In 43 innings, Ravindra Jadeja has crossed fifty 14 times  •  BCCI

In 43 innings, Ravindra Jadeja has crossed fifty 14 times  •  BCCI

Ravindra Jadeja's rise as a batter in Tests couldn't have come at a better time, for in the recent past India have been lacking the middle-order heft that they have been used to. While his 175* in Mohali came with the team in relative comfort, Jadeja has often provided much needed padding that India's batting has required, even in Tests at home.
In terms of overall numbers, Jadeja has been one of the key batters for India in the last five years: he has scored 1441 runs at an average of 46.48. With a cut-off as low as 300 runs scored by any batter in this period, only Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli average higher. Naturally, for someone batting at No. 6 and 7 largely, the average is expected to get a boost because of a higher number of unbeaten innings. What stands out in Jadeja's case, however, is the number of fifty-plus scores he has made batting largely with the lower order. In 43 innings, he has crossed 50 on 14 occasions - once every 3.07 innings on average. That's just a fraction lower than how frequently Rohit (13 in 39 innings) and Kohli (25 in 75 innings) have managed in the last-five years.
Moreover, 551 of Jadeja's 1441 runs were scored with India already six down in the innings. That means 38.2% of his runs have come batting with the lower order. No one, among batters with a cut-off of at least 1000 runs in the last five years, has been that productive. Even Jason Holder, who is the next batter in this list is at 29.3% - almost 9% lower than Jadeja. And if you think R Ashwin batting at No. 8 has helped his cause, like he did in the first innings here, then think again, because Ashwin has averaged a poor 20.11 with the bat during this period.
Mohali was yet another example of how Jadeja plays a crucial part in India putting up massive totals. The allrounder scored 140 of the 223 runs his team made after the fall of the sixth wicket to finally finish on 574.
The average total put up by Test teams in the last five years is approximately 300. Jadeja has scored 1074 runs at an average of 63.2 when India have scored 300 or more. He has made 11 fifty-plus scores in these innings. In the last three years, Jadeja's role in India putting up such totals has become even greater. He has contributed 49.2 runs per 300-plus innings which more than Kohli's contribution in the last three years.
Seventeen of these 25 Jadeja innings have come with him having to bat with the lower order (after the fall of the sixth wicket), and he has contributed 37% of the runs India have scored in these conditions. Only one man has ever done better in the last five years. (min. 10 innings of batting after the fall of the sixth wicket)
In making the highest score by an Indian at No. 7 or lower, Jadeja has underscored the value he brings to this team. Not since the man he took the record from have India had a better allrounder, because lets not forget he's pretty good with the ball too.

Shiva Jayaraman is a senior stats analyst at ESPNcricinfo @shiva_cricinfo