The ideal way for a sports person to rise and shine is being recognized at a young age. The general flow of a career of a sportsperson is such. Being known by sight as a prodigy and then developing into a sensation eventually. But there are exceptions in every field of the world. Aren’t there?
Kedar Jadhav was one such exception. Having made his first-class debut in 2007 at the age of 22, Jadhav introduced himself to India’s most prestigious domestic tournament. He made consistent laps of progress but the glare of publicity only arrived after almost a decade of toil in the domestic tournament. No matter how much hard you try, success kisses you only when the time comes!
In 74 first-class matches, Jadhav has 4,945 runs under his belt. An average of 46.21 further speaks about his potential. In the 2012-13 season, he smashed a career-best 327 against Uttar Pradesh. A nine-hour long stay at the crease never saw the strike rate dipping under 100. But his stand-out season in the Ranji Trophy would certainly be 2013-14 when he amassed 1,223 runs in 11 matches at an average of 87.35 and a strike rate of 80.30. Having scored six centuries in a tournament with a best of 204 further added to his credentials.
Resultant of which, he was called in to tour Bangladesh in 2014. However, he did not feature in the final eleven. His ODI debut finally came vs Sri Lanka later in the year in Ranchi. Going for a shot-too-many, Jadhav found his stumps being castled by an Ajantha Mendis delivery while he was on 20. May be his time to emit success has still not come.
Talking of List A career, Jadhav has 3,890 runs to his name in 101 matches. To maintain an average of 50.51 at a strike rate of 108.47 is not everyone’s cup of tea. In 89 T20s, 1,442 runs have come at an average of 24.86 and a strike rate of 139.32.
His maiden ODI century came against Zimbabwe in the third ODI of India’s tour of Zimbabwe 2015. Having scored 232 runs in three matches in the recently concluded ODI series against England, Jadhav was declared the Man of the Series. A performance of this stature has made him a sure starter in India’s playing eleven during their first match against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy.
Jadhav’s father worked as a clerk in the Maharashtra State Electricity Board. He had three elder sisters, all of whom had a keen interest in studies. But Jadhav was determined to excel in cricket since his childhood. After keeping his nose to the grindstone for so many years, Jadhav has earned all the chances which have come his way. Having performed heavily, he has proved to one and all that he is here to stay.
Post his spot in the Indian team, he has also become a regular in Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League. Injuries to Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, and Lokesh Rahul have perhaps made him the most important cog in their wheel. At 32, success might have hit him a bit later as compared to others but the life of ease comes only when the time comes!