Sword-fighter Ravindra Jadeja cuts England to size

Ravindra Jadeja celebrated his fifty against England in Mohali by doing a traditional Rajputana sword dance with his bat.

cricket Updated: Nov 28, 2016 23:33 IST
Ashutosh Sharma
Ashutosh Sharma
Hindustan Times
Ravindra Jadeja,Mohali Test,R Ashwin
Ravindra Jadeja scored career-best score of 90 against England in Mohali on Monday.(REUTERS)

Ravindra Jadeja played an uncharacteristic knock, subdued and patient as he bade time to try and help India build the crucial lead of 134 on Day Three of the third Test on Monday.

But he cut loose once he reached his half-century, much to the delight of the sparse crowd. His first half-century since his 68 at Lord’s in 2014, Jadeja celebrated by doing a traditional Rajputana sword dance, only he was waving his bat instead.

A beaming Jadeja gestured the move with his gloved right hand, then brandished his bat on his left hand before doing a ‘salaam’ to the dressing room with the bat.

He missed a maiden century, but wasn’t bothered as he joked: “Yeh Rajputana ka trademark style hai to bus wohi mein follow karta hun (It’s the trademark Rajputana style. That’s what I have been following). Just that I can’t bring the sword to the ground, so I do it with the bat.”

Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin along with Jayant Yadav showed great maturity to slug it out in the middle, not giving away the wicket. Off the first 34 balls he faced, Jadeja scored eight runs, leaving anything outside off and waiting for the loose deliveries. His fifty came off 104 balls with five fours, and a six off leg-spinner Adil Rashid.

England’s spin trio Moeen Ali, Rashid and Gareth Batty hardly troubled the Indian lower order. While India’s batsmen made merry, it was a different tale when England batted again.

Their spinners led by R Ashwin had England batsmen in a bind. By stumps, Ashwin had three wickets and Jayant scalped one to take control.

Jadeja went wicketless but his 12 overs yielded just 18 runs. Asked about the difference between the spinners in both the sides, Jadeja was candid.

“In Test cricket, it all depends on the situation. If your team has the upperhand, the opposing team will struggle. Like when we went to England, their spinners also looked like it was Muttiah Muralitharan bowling. I will say it all depends on the situation.

“Whichever team has the upperhand, their bowlers look threatening, their batsmen look very good,” Jadeja said, the sarcasm hard to miss.

First Published: Nov 28, 2016 22:39 IST