Helming ODI Bowling: ‘Sir’ Ravindra Jadeja


After the chaos that Indian cricket has gone through, and has been going through, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s Ravindra Jadeja who’s provided it with a much-needed deliverance. It’s been almost two decades since an Indian bowler held the top spot in the ICC ODI rankings and that it’s Jadeja who’s made his way up there, doesn’t seem out-of-sorts at all. In a sport where the movers and shakers are as phenomenal as the word can be, Ravindra Jadeja’s rise to the top of the ICC ranking charts not only marks the return of the Indian bowling order to the top of the ODI front, but also signifies Indian cricket’s absolute domination in it.

To the naysayers who kept questioning his potential, sniggered about the various nomenclatures that swirled about in reference to the 24-year old and referred to each of his achievements as a mere fluke; this latest accomplishment is the most fitting answer to their badgering and skepticism. Not that it matters but when a lot of voices harp about the same individual without even acknowledging his abilities in the slightest, a fan can’t help but gloat and revel in the achiever’s glory.

Jadeja’s glory comes with innumerable hardships and with toil that didn’t reap in any easy rewards. True it was that he became the most spoken about cricketer, a cynosure of sorts with jokes centred on him. But what shaped Jadeja was the way he utilized this wry focus placed on him to present his talent-pool before the world. As the years have rolled by, Ravindra Jadeja is still the cynosure of all eyes but the manner in which the nation – and the world – looks at him has totally changed. In many ways, he’s still the jester who’s normally characterized as a super-hero. But what’s changed is the fact that the super-hero themes on Jadeja are based on his performances in matches. Where, he’s rescued the team from near-certain defeats, taking them to greater heights in their phoenix-esque rise.

In that he’s truly a game-changer. Perhaps one of the best, unparalleled even, amongst the other cricketing nations. It then comes as no surprise that no matter who the team may comprise of, Jadeja is one constant India can’t do without. He’s become indispensable, playing his part to the fullest – as a bowler, as a batsman and as a fielder. In a team where constancy of players’ performances has been a mixed-bag, Jadeja’s consistency in all wings of the game has made the team literally undefeatable.

There are many who’ve attempted to gauge Jadeja’s style of play and tried to observe as to what makes him tick, only to be left befuddled even more. For there’s nothing akin to a special ‘x-factor’ that Jadeja brings to the game except his naturalness and inherent acumen. His style of play is instinctual, he does what he knows best and it gets the job done and such an instinctual, inherent talent cannot be measured with any gauge or instrumentation.

The road ahead thus looks quite promising for the youngster. He’s achieved his dream of making a cut into the national squad, alongside being the world’s best bowler in ODIs. He’s being held in awe by each team and coach across the world, wherever the sport leaves its footprints. But is Ravindra Jadeja – in all honesty – concerned with all of these? Not really. He’s never been such a guy to flaunt his successes and in all possibility won’t be publicly doing so for this latest honour as well. It’s all in a day’s work for Ravindra Jadeja, or rather ‘Sir Ravindra Jadeja’ – the man on whose feet, the cricketing world rests.

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