#NewsBytesExplainer: Is Ravindra Jadeja an underrated all-rounder?
Ravindra Jadeja has been a mainstay all-rounder for Team India after he rose to prominence in 2012. The Indian all-rounder recently became the toast of the town, owing to his 2019 World Cup heroics. Although he could not get India home at the end, his rescuing effort was widely hailed. In this article, we analyze Ravindra Jadeja's credentials as an all-rounder.
A look at Jadeja's international career
During his 11-year old career, Jadeja has scalped 439 wickets from 263 internationals at 30.15. In the batting segment, the southpaw averages 31.20, having tallied 4,338 runs. He also has a Test hundred to his name. In 2019, Jadeja picked up his 200th Test wicket in a match against South Africa. He became the fastest (44) to reach this landmark among left-arm spinners.
India's three-dimensional player
On his day, Jadeja can dismantle the strongest batting line-up with his nippy deliveries. In the age of 360 degree cricket, the 31-year-old rules the roost by displaying a conventional approach. His late flourishes, especially in Test cricket, makes him a valuable lower order batsman overseas. Furthermore, Jadeja stands out among the greatest fielders in the world. His rocket-throws have grabbed eyeballs in past.
Batting form in Test cricket
Jadeja's batting form in Test cricket has soared in the second half of his career. From his debut to 2016, he racked up 848 runs at an average of 26.50 with mere four fifties. However, his average climbed to 48.61 as he has scored 1,021 runs since 2017. Notably, he has registered five 50-plus scores in England, Sri Lanka, Australia and West Indies respectively.
Jadeja's tryst with domestic cricket
Jadeja is one of the few players in the Indian squad, who likes the grind of domestic cricket. He has been dropped from a number of overseas tours across formats during his career. The advent of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal further made life difficult for him limited-overs cricket. However, Jadeja has time and again bounced back on the account of his domestic performances.
When Jadeja was dropped from Test cricket
Jadeja lost his Test spot shortly after the 2015 World Cup. He went back to domestic cricket and took 38 wickets from four Ranji Trophy games at an incredible average of 10.42. The southpaw was recalled for the South Africa Test series later that year.
Numbers of Jadeja and Pandya (international cricket)
Let us compare Jadeja's all-round numbers with that of Hardik Pandya since January 26, 2016 (international debut of Pandya). Pandya, who is touted as one of the greatest all-rounders in modern day cricket, has scored 1,799 runs and claimed 109 scalps from 105 internationals. During this period, Jadeja aggregated 1,932 runs and picked up 210 wickets in 99 internationals.
Jadeja is also effective in the shorter formats
Jadeja's propensity to accelerate in the limited-overs format has worked big-time for India. His 59-ball 77 against the Kiwis in 2019 World Cup semi-final is a testimony to the fact. Besides, he is also closing-in on the 200-wicket mark in ODIs. His inclusion in the T20I squad brings the required variety, with the presence of Hardik Pandya and one of the wrist-spinners.