One of the enduring mysteries of the T20 League has been why the now-defunct Kochi Tuskers chose the garish, eye-sore mix of purple and orange as their official colours. A choice that makes perfect sense — or at least internet meme wisdom — in hindsight.
With Ravindra Jadeja in their squad, the team management was confident that they had a man who could be in the reckoning for both the Orange Cap and the Purple Cap, hence that unholy union of colours.
Ok. Fine, maybe, that’s not the real reason. But, then, who needs reasons when you have Sir Ravindra?
His story has enough elements to make for a compelling read… err meme. He lost his mother when he was just 17, and almost gave up the sport but continued after the support of coach Mahendra Singh Chauhan. He was unearthed by Shane Warne and dubbed ‘Rockstar’ by the Aussie who led his unheralded bunch to the inaugural title.
And, while most of that motley crew may have fallen by the wayside — Ashok Menaria and Swapnil Asnodkar have gone off the map, Yusuf Pathan has plateaued — Jadeja’s been going places. He made his Test debut on the back of two first-class triple tons, yet, has transformed himself into the most promising Indian spinner in years.
When you talk about Jadeja these days, cricket, often, isn’t even the topic of discussion. He’s Indian cricket’s first social media legend. In these days of memes, twitter and viral hits, he’s the biggest thing on cyberspace. He’s Kolaveri Di and Gangnam Style remixed, and from the looks of it, more than just a one-hit wonder.
He doesn’t evoke comparisons with cricketers anymore. He’s now in the elite league of larger-than-life superheroes. He’s cricket’s answer to Rajnikanth, well, at least if you go by MS Dhoni’s twitter feed. Or, if you’re particularly fond of the English Premier League, cricket’s answer to Emile Heskey, the burly, hard-working former Liverpool striker, who was dubbed Lord Heskey and launched a million memes.
The attention has reached levels where you find it difficult to separate fact from fiction, but beyond the gigabytes of Sir Ravindra jokes is a grounded young cricketer who is ever-willing to do the dirty work, the intangibles that are often the difference between victory and defeat — a key wicket here, a great catch there, and, a few meaty blows just for good measure.
A perfect example of his ability to do it all was in evidence in Chennai Super Kings’ last match, against defending champions KK R.
He took a fine catch running back to send back the dangerous Eoin Morgan. He followed it up with a spell of 3-20 in his four overs. Then, with his side facing a steep asking rate, he bludgeoned 36 off 14 balls sealing the victory with a six.
And you thought MS Dhoni was kidding when he tweeted, “If When you give Sir Ravindra Jadeja one ball to get 2 runs he will win it with one ball to spare!!” Tsk, tsk!