Born on December 6, 1988, in Saurashtra, Gujarat
Ravindra Jadeja began his career for India as part of the U-19 team for the Cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka, in 2005. He was only 16 years at the time. India reached the final with Jadeja impressing with his bowling taking three wickets. He was made the vice-captain of the U-19 team that represented India in the subsequent edition of the U-19 World Cup held in Malaysia, in 2008.
The 2009 World Twenty20 event caused a furore in his still nascent career. A cricket hooked nation that gets dispirited by lackluster performances as well holds aloft to pedestal the brilliant ones in euphoria, vented its ire on Ravinder Jadeja for not scoring quickly when the team needed to score at an accelerated run-rate. Jadeja though found a support in skipper M S Dhoni who fully braced and held high esteem for his cricketing skills.
Jadeja found his place in the ODI team again in late 2009 as Yusuf Pathan who had marked his slot in the team as an allrounder had a loss in form. In the third match of Indo-Lanka series played at the Cuttack ground, December 21, 2009, Ravinder Jadeja grabbed his opportunity outshining others as he took home the Man of the Match award for his four wickets at the cost of mere 32 runs.
His ability to hold on and contain the damage when India were reeling at 58 runs on board having already lost five wickets came to the fore when he added 112 with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni contributing 78 of those runs. Accelerating the pedal he along with Ravichandran Ashwin plucked 59 runs off only 5.1 overs as the team ended with a respectable yet below par 234–7 in 50 overs. In the same match, Jadeja also took 2–42 from his 9 overs. Despite being on the losing side he was deservedly named “player of the match”
Out of the contention from the test team, Jadeja resurrected himself at the domestic circuit. And by 2012 he had three triple centuries to his name in the Ranji Trophy.
His form prompted selectors to count him in the team for the fourth test of the series against England at home. And Jadeja made his test debut against England at Nagpur the venue for the test. It was a productive one as he sent down 70 overs and finished with the figures of 3/117.
Jadeja was retained for the home series against Australia in 2013 and made his selection sparkle as he along with Ravichandran Ashwin wreaked havoc in the formidable Aussie batting line up. India recorded a historic 4-0 win against Australia in the series with Jadeja capturing 24 wickets. He proved to be a nemesis for the Aussie Captain and prolific bat, Michael Clarke snaring him five times in the series. His seven wickets in the final test also earned him the man of the match award. Thereafter, Jadeja cemented his place in the Test side as India played in the Indian Subcontinent.
His wicket-taking trail was ablaze again at the ICC Champions Trophy 2013. He was the highest wicket-taker of the tournament with 12 wickets, which won him the Golden Ball. He scored a 33 not out and besides taking 2 wickets in the final against England. The final match after having been reduced to 20 overs a side due to rain, was won by India with a slim margin of 5 runs having scored 129 off their quota of overs. The scoreline itself sheds insight to the value of Jadeja’s contribution in the final. His performances listed him among names that made up a team of the tournament announced by the ICC and ESPNCricinfo.
He surged to the top in the ICC bowler’s rankings 2013, in ODIs as well as the test format.
Though a significant wicket-taker it took Jadeja some time to come of age as a Test batsman. His maiden test fifty came only on 20 July 2014, playing against England and it majorly helped India save the match from a precarious 235/7. He scored 68 brisk runs off just 57 balls. His partnership of 99 with Bhuvneshwar Kumar helped India set England a target of 319.
After a mediocre 2015 ICC World Cup and the subsequent ODI series against Bangladesh, Jadeja was dropped from the team. He roared back to selection for the home series against South Africa on the back of his performances in the Ranji trophy.
Jadeja played a stellar part in the team’s victory as his left-arm spin fetched him 23 wickets in 4 games.
Jadeja was again a part of the ODI & T20 mix, finding a place in the Indian team that toured Australia to play 5 ODIs and 3 T20Is. He was a standout performer on the tour with his economical spells, superb fielding while running out batsmen and brilliant catching that often changed the course of the match.
Playing all the matches of the four test series at home against the Aussies in 2017, Jadeja persevered and seized the momentum back in India’s favor after the home side had lost the first test. He thwarted Aussie resistance to seize 25 wickets in all besides striking very valuable half-centuries down the order in the third and fourth test that helped India pile up runs at the juncture to pile up the pressure. His efforts with both the bat and the ball in the fourth test earned him not only the player of the match but the player of the series award as well.
Ravindra Jadeja Lost his place to spin combine Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldip Yadav after an indifferent champions trophy 2017, but his Asia cup exploits brought him back to reckoning with a bang.
His trademark bat swirling action is akin to a sword-fighter wielding the weapon, challenging his adversaries in the field. It has caught the fancy of his teammates and the nation. We pray that this regal celebration of his comes too often as it succeeds after he has added a landmark in his batting career.
What do you call him? An allrounder – batting left-handed with an exceptional strike rate, a left-arm spinner perched atop the ICC Rankings, the fastest left-arm spinner to 200 test wickets, or the best fielder in the team with reflexes and taking a shot at the wickets at the wicket with few parallels among players. He has etched a name in legions of Indian cricket as an indefatigable fighter for the team, one with special talents in eeking out the wickets and being instrumental with the bat. His presence on the field simply mirrors never-let-go energy, lion-hearted efforts, an undaunted chase of the challenge with a still increasing tempo, every time he is in the thick of action of play.
He was awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award in 2019.
RAVINDRA JADEJA’S BATTING & FIELDING PERFORMANCE
RAVINDRA JADEJA’S BOWLING PERFORMANCE
TESTS ODI T20
MATCHES 48 156 46
INNINGS 92 152 46
BALLS 128222 7849 913
RUNS 5200 6366 1093
WICKETS 211 178 35
BBI 7/48 5/36 3/48
BBM 10/154 5/36 3/48
ECONOMY 2.43 4.87 7.18
AVERAGE 24.64 35.76 31.22
STRIKE RATE 60.77 44.1 26.0
5 WICKETS 9 1 0
10 WICKETS 1 0 0