It happens very few times that a bowler outperforms Ravichandran Ashwin. Whether it’s in the wickets column or even in Test bowlers rankings for that matter. But his spin twin Ravindra Jadeja has done that quite a few times during India’s home season of 13 Tests which ended last month.
The Indian spin duo was even collectively dominated the No.1 spot, but in the current scenario, Jadeja succeeds the other by 37 points. He is standing at the top spot with 898 points for himself, ahead of Ashwin and Sri Lankan spinner, Rangana Herath. The importance of the rating increases as in recent times Jadeja has become a threat without even taking the pitch conditions into consideration.
From a left-arm orthodox bowler, who played the role of keeping a check on the flow of runs, to becoming a dominating spin contingent, Jadeja has seen it all. The bottom line remains that the deficiency of square turners has not affected Jadeja even a tad bit. As far as the numbers are concerned, Jadeja has taken 67 wickets at an average of 22.98 which also comprises of 4 five-wicket hauls in 24 innings in this home season.
Evolution of Jadeja under Kumble
A lot of cricketing pundits might have guessed that the changes the Saurashtra-lad has implanted in his bowling, could have bean possible because of the spin specialist and coach, Anil Kumble. While he has extended his overabundance of variations when it comes to pace and still there are some variations that remain subtle.
One thing has been constant with Jadeja this season and that is his tirelessness and accuracy. Even when Indian skipper under bowled him as a tactic, the crowd chanted his name to bring Jaddu to bowl a spell. As a result of that, Kohli has to listen to them and he ripped the opposition with a six-fer.
No more pitch dependent
Jadeja is not evolved to that much extent that he doesn’t differentiate between a spinning track or a completely flat track. As the season progressed, we saw him achieving success against various opposition on diverse surfaces.
The credit for all these results goes to his adaptability, which has been pretty good is indeed commendable. The venues kept on the changing whole season but his 5,6 or 7-wicket hauls kept on coming and he ran through the oppositions.
The Sword of the Warrior
While the stress was given more on Jadeja’s improved bowling skills, one can’t forget his useful batting contributions in challenging situations. There is no doubt that the Indian has a deep batting line-up and credit for that goes to him and his ability to make the opportunities count.
In the 29 Tests, he has scored 988 runs at an average of 27.44. Interestingly, 515 of them have come in the 2016-17 home season of 13 Tests at an average of 36.78. In this season itself, he scored his highest score in Tests which is 90 against England at Mohali.
The evolution of Jadeja is so big that the term Sir Jadeja too has experienced an evolution- once a joke, then a social media meme, but now an exclamation of praise. Now when most of us say Sir Jadeja, we actually mean it.