India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has slowly become an integral part of the Indian cricket team. His handy left-arm spin has not only broken partnerships but he is able to run through his overs pretty quickly to ensure India do not suffer a violation for slow over-rate. Couple that with his amazing fielding and his constant improvement with the bat, and it’s not exaggeration to say that Jadeja has become an invaluable player for India in all three formats.
Also Read | ‘He didn’t look at enough replays to see all evidence’: Tim Paine tees off at DRS after contentious dismissal
India were without Jadeja for the first Test against Australia. However, come the Boxing Day Test, Jadeja was included in India’s XI in place of Virat Kohli, which marked the all-rounder’s 50th Test. This makes him only the third cricketer in the history of Indian cricket to play 50 matches for India in all three formats. Only Kohli and MS Dhoni have done so previously.
Also Read | ‘Probably the toughest day to bat,’ Ravi Shastri names the ‘turning point’ of the match
“It’s a great honour to join Mahi Bhai and Virat as the only others to have played 50 games across all 3 formats for India. A big thank you to the BCCI, my team mates, the brilliant support staff for showing faith in me and for always backing me. Onwards and upwards. Jai Hind,” Jadeja tweeted shortly after India registered a memorable eight-wicket win against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday to level the series 1-1.
Jadeja’s batting graph has been on the up since the last two years. In fact, since 2016, Jadeja has a batting average of 46.29 and a bowling average of 24.97. With an average difference of 21.32, Jadeja has been the best all-rounder in world cricket in the last three years, above Ben Stokes, Shakib Al Hasan and Jason Holder.
Also Read | ‘That’s a good enough top 7’: Tom Moody believes Ravindra Jadeja ‘certainly fits’ in India’s Test team
Jadeja played a winning hand in the MCG Test, picking up three wickets in the match and scoring a half-century in the only innings he got to bat in. It was his 15th Test half-century, but one that will go down as one of his finest since it gave India solidity in the middle order. He added 121 runs with his captain Ajinkya Rahane to give India a first-innings lead of 131 runs.
Jadeja made his India debut in an ODI against Sri Lanka in 2009, followed by his maiden T20I game two days later against the same opponent. It took another three years for Jadeja to finally make the cut in India’s Test side, but ever since, the all-rounder has never looked back. So far, Jadeja has played 50 T20Is, 168 ODIs and 50 Tests for India, scoring 217, 2411 and 1926 runs respectively in the formats. Besides, he has claimed 216 wickets in Tests, 188 in ODIs and another 29 in T20Is for India.