Although he has now become a vital member of the Indian Test team, it was in the shortest version of the game in which Sir Ravindra Jadeja first caught the nation’s attention when he turned in one stellar performance after another for the Rajasthan Royals in the first edition of the IPL in 2008. Since then he has been a silent game changer for all the teams that he has played for so far. Currently, he is a member of the star studded Chennai Super Kings, who have been the beaten finalists in two successive editions of the IPL in 2012 and 2013.
According to the latest ICC International Cricket Rankings that were published a few weeks back, Ravindra Jadeja has been ranked as the number 5 all rounder in the world in One Day International cricket. This goes to show his value to any side that has him as a member of the playing eleven. He is a perfect example of a cricketer whose total impact on the team is much more than the sum of the individual skills that he has. He is not an outstanding batsman nor is he an outstanding left arm spin bowler but he knows how to play within limitations and hurt the opposition. He can score a quick 40 in a tough situation and on the other hand he can be trusted to keep the opposition in check with his fast left arm off spin. As a matter of fact his deliveries are at such a low trajectory that batsmen find it hard to hit him out of the park easily. However, as a fielder he can be ranked as one of the best in the world at the moment; he is at least worth 10 runs to his team in every game, which after all can be a difference between victory and defeat in a T20 match.
In the players’ auction that took place in 2011, Jadeja went to the newly created Kochi franchise for a whopping $950,000. It was evident that they thought of the young man highly, considering the nightmarish outing he had in the ICC T20 World Cup in 2009. However, once the Kochi Tuskers Kerala were suspended from the IPL, Jadeja found himself in the auction pool again in 2012 and this time Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings went toe to toe in their bid to acquire him. Eventually he went for $2 million to the Chennai Super Kings after a closed door meeting between the representatives of the two teams and a BCCI member, since both teams had exhausted their spending cap. It is rumored that the actual amount paid by the Chennai Super Kings was something in the region of $6 million.
Jadeja’s fine hour came in the second game that he played for the CSK in IPL 5 and justified the $2 million price tag with a great statement. In an awesome display of all round prowess, he first hit an excellent 48 (23b, 3*4, 3*6) against the then Deccan Chargers outfit and then won the game for his side with a match haul of 5-16 in 4 overs. Needless to say he was the man of the match.
Jadeja is a cricketer who has improved with every successive season. At the time he turned out for the Royals he had a batting average of 23.88 with a strike rate of 116. However, since the time he has been with the CSK, he has averaged a bit less (19.60) even though his strike rate has zoomed to 137, which means that he has only sacrificed a few runs to become a deadly lower order hitter.
However, as a bowler he has certainly become better over the years. Although his economy rate has floundered from 6.74 in 27 matches for the Royals to 7.62 in 37 games for the CSK, it needs to be remembered that the average scores across all teams has also increased over the years which accounts for the increment in the economy rate. More importantly, he now has an average of 23.84 as opposed to 28.66, which he had in the above mentioned period with the Royals. As it is evident, Ravindra Jadeja is surely going to be a star for the foreseeable future in the IPL and would be one of the hottest picks in next year’s auction unless the CSK decides to retain him.
Did you know?
We all know about the nasty spat that Jadeja had with Suresh Raina in the West Indies but anyone who has seen the rise of the former over the past few years will be able to deduce that all is not right with the two cricketers, who are team mates for Team India as well as the Chennai Super Kings. As a matter of fact, the great Kapil Dev rates him as the ‘most valued cricketer’ in the Indian team. The rise of Jadeja in the pecking order in the Indian team, his $2 million IPL contract and of course his recognition in the world game might not have gone down well with Raina, who is currently going through a rough patch of form. Not to mention his sprawling house in Jamnagar that houses a personal stable. On the personal front, it has surfaced that Ravindra Jadeja is now engaged to a beautiful girl named Chetna although it is unknown what her occupation is; however there are rumors that the two might tie the knot in 2014. Jadeja is also a style icon of sorts with his constantly changing hairstyle and moustache, in addition to his love for ethnic Indian wear like the Pathan suit.
By Soham Sammadar