‘Sir’ Ravindra Jadeja: The rise of a rockstar

England v India: Final - ICC Champions Trophy

Go to Google and type “Sir” in the search bar and wait for the suggestions to load.

The first name wouldn’t surprise you if are active on social networks. From Kandy to Kensington Oval, Bangalore to Birmingham, Chepauk to Pietermaritzburg, he is well-known. Dhoni has tweeted about “Sir”, a gentleman asked about the tag in a presentation ceremony, a prankster even tweaked his Wikipedia profile; the crowd chanted “Sir” every time the ball found him, ‘284 runs short of a triple century’ was the collective groan when he got out leaving the ball on 16 in a Test match; a couple of websites have even dedicated themselves in the service of “SIR”.

Unfazed and unruffled, Ravindra Jadeja has gone about his business making a mockery of all those who made fun of him. He stamped his authority all over the Champions Trophy 2013. When a rare top order failure came, he was there to score the lusty blows at the end. When shoulders started to slump, he showcased his brilliance on the field. When wickets were the need of the hour, the left-armer was seen twirling his arm. When the opposition scored rapidly, they faced a roadblock in the name of Jadeja. Everything he did, worked like a charm.

India was losing the grip on the match against South Africa before Jadeja brought them back with brilliant run out of Robin Peterson. He flummoxed West Indies with his guile to earn five wickets, an Indian victory, and a gold coin. He removed the immovable Misbah and snared Shoaib Malik in the easy win against Pakistan. He added Jayawardene to the list as well in the semis. He made the final his own with crucial runs that made the target seem ‘just enough’, and complemented it with threatening bowling and electric fielding.

He was the tournament’s highest wicket-taker, the man of the final, and Dhoni’s right hand. However, everything hasn’t been this easy for Jadeja. His father was a watchman.  His sister still works as a nurse. When his mother died in 2005, he was close to quitting cricket. The U-19 World Cup success earned him respect and an IPL contract. That’s when it all began to change. The ‘rockstar’ flourished under the magician Shane Warne. A few years later, CSK shelled out a couple of millions for his services.

Everyone made fun of his triple centuries for his state team. His inclusion as a third spinner worked wonders for India against Australia. He dismissed the current best Australian batsman – Michael Clarke – five out of six times in the series. He is a man of limited talent, but he uses every ounce of it. His bowling isn’t unplayable, but he hangs in there with his nagging line and length; and when the pitch assists turn, he is a handful.

He can claim to be the best Indian fielder right now with a rocket arm and a safe pair of hands. His batting at no. 7 is more than handy. The “rockstar” has finally arrived in style! Indians will hope he is here to stay for a longer period of time as well.

He has scored runs, effected run outs, taken skiers, foxed batsmen, and won matches for his team. In the process, he has won many hearts too!


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