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Jadeja is a reliable, accurate finger-spinning option, not to mention his infectious fielding displays which still strike fear into batsmen running between the wickets, and his ability to whack a few out of the park
A game of tug and war would act as the perfect microcosm for Ravindra Jadeja’s career so far in international cricket, apart from his unfaltering fielding ability.
It began in the most unpalatable of cases, facing fierce criticism from bloodthirsty fans back home following his shambolic performances in the 2009 T20 World Cup, the same year as his ODI and T20I debut, in a humbling tournament for the defending champions.
However, with the unrelenting backing of captain MS Dhoni, Jadeja quietly began to defy his doubters on a domestic level, with pin-point accuracy turning him into an effective bowler and his three first-class hundreds demonstrating he was more than a handy batsman down the order.
And it was his Test bow that really allowed him to excel across all formats, being called up for the first time in 2012 in a dead rubber against England in Nagpur before retaining his place and combining with lead spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for a home series whitewash of Australia in February and March 2013.
But Jadeja only truly arrived when he won the Golden Ball for his terrific bowling performances in India’s victorious Champions Trophy campaign of 2013, the start of a few years of torment for opposition line-ups as Jadeja and Ashwin ripped through them to record numerous victories on home soil.
But injuries and rule changes following the 2015 World Cup saw the duo lose their pizazz in the shorter formats and they were replaced by Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in the ODI and T20I setup after the Champions Trophy final defeat to Pakistan in 2017.
However, Jadeja fought his way back into the fold again in the 2018 Asia Cup, still representing a reliable, accurate finger-spinning option, not to mention his infectious fielding displays which still strike fear into batsmen running between the wickets, and his ability to whack a few out of the park.
An ever-present for Chennai Super Kings (and the Gujarat Lions in the former’s two-year absence), Jadeja is one of the most well-rounded players at Virat Kohli’s disposal and the captain will be warned against consigning him to the reserves throughout the tournament.
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