Is Ravindra Jadeja a spent force as numbers put T20 World Cup selection in danger? | Crickit
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Is Ravindra Jadeja a spent force as numbers put T20 World Cup selection in danger?

Apr 06, 2024 11:46 AM IST

In recent years, it appears Jadeja has chosen to be a safe player. Good enough to retain his place in the team but never exciting, trustworthy enough.

It appears the time has come to draw the line with Ravindra Jadeja. He is not an impact player anymore. Be it with the bat or ball, he has been found wanting on countless occasions in recent years. We don’t have to go back too far to understand how ineffective he has been though. On Friday night against Sunrisers Hyderabad, batting at No.5, he scored a 23-ball 31*.

Chennai Super Kings' Ravindra Jadeja reacts during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 T20 cricket match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings (PTI)
Chennai Super Kings' Ravindra Jadeja reacts during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 T20 cricket match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings (PTI)

While most of the Chennai Super Kings batters’ approach was questionable, scoring at a strike of around 135 at that number particularly hurt CSK who lost their second successive game. Jadeja then bowled exactly the way he batted and returned figures of 0/30 in his four overs.

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He has started resembling an employee who is just about there but not making any real attempts to get better and make a difference. Against Delhi Capitals in the previous match, he scored a 17-ball 21* when the asking rate was creeping up on them in a big way. And his bowling figures were 1/43. If he had showed a little intent, who knows? CSK could have won the match. His performance was dull in the first two matches of the season as well.

Jadeja is one of the few players who has been playing in the IPL since its inception in 2008. Today one would expect him to take the lead, all the more when MS Dhoni is not the same batting force he used to be a few years ago. It’s not that Jadeja is aging badly. He is just 35 and looks fit as a fiddle.

What is missing is the lack of intent which one can see in him in India colours too more often than not. Fans will sure remember his poor batting in the 2023 World Cup final against Australia. He scored 9 off 22 balls!

Fans mostly remember good performances, but this one was so bad that it’s still fresh in our minds. In the Test series against England a while back, he did well with the ball and bat on a couple of occasions, but he could have done much more in home conditions.

If truth be told, Jadeja has not seen any real progression all these years. He has remained a good cricketer. He should have been much more. By now, he should have been an India great. Sadly, that’s not the case. Yes, there have been good patches for him in either role on the field, but none lasted long enough to make him super reliable.

In recent years, it appears Jadeja has chosen to be a safe player. Good enough to retain his place in the team but never exciting, trustworthy enough. When he comes on to bat or bowl, there is just no anticipation. He can take a wicket or hit a six, whatever it is, you wouldn’t anticipate them. Even today, when Dhoni is way past his prime, his arrival at the crease is greeted with great celebrations in the stands.

In his defence, Jadeja has been injured a couple of times in recent years and that may have taken the edge off his batting but again that’s no excuse really. Injuries are part and parcel of a player’s career.

He should up the ante because there are so many exciting batters in the pipeline. His bowling has been on the wane for some time now but his batting kept him afloat. Now it appears, even that is losing its sharpness.

His fielding is a great asset and has helped him greatly over the years. In fact, once he walks off into the sunset, he is likely to be most remembered for his exploits as a fielder more than anything else. But nowadays, his batting and bowling are so dull that even his fielding skills can’t save him.

At this rate, Jadeja can’t be in the World T20 team, make no mistake. India have a good crop of young players who look way, way ahead. The clock is ticking for the all-rounder. Perform or perish. No two ways about it!

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