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5 reasons why Ravindra Jadeja might be the all-rounder India need

He is no Sir Gary Sobers, neither is he a Jacques Kallis or Kapil Dev. He is not even an Irfan Pathan. And maybe he is that bits-and-pieces player who neither gets classified as a batting all-rounder nor as a bowling all-rounder. He may have domestic triple hundred and still not know how to defend and may not know how to spin a ball, but he is famous all over the world.

But there is something special about (Sir) Ravindra Jadeja. He is here to stay in international cricket, at least for another five years. He may even be the solution to India’s 20-year search for the quintessential all-rounder. Here are the top five reasons to justify my claim on the mysterious next-big-thing of cricket.

5. A very handy lower-order batsman:

Ravindra Jadeja can bat well. His domestic performances don’t convince one enough to accept this fact, but his timely contributions with the bat in the ODI format justify his ability to bat. Be it the 78 at the Oval against England last year or the 61* at Kochi against the same opposition earlier this year, Jaddu has hung around, protecting the Indian tail from being exposed.

He has been a failure on the Test arena so far, but four Test matches are too insignificant to measure his real capability. The two boundaries off the youngster’s willow to relieve the pressure on MS Dhoni in the Mohali Test is just a fine sample of his yet-to-come match-turning knocks in the longer format.

4.  Astute athleticism on the field:

Jaddu is another example for the right notes of this younger generation. Just like Raina and Kohli, he is a brilliant and smart fielder, who could essentially stop 15-20 runs on the field every match. He has got sharp reflexes that allow him to produce some efficient stops off his own bowling and he could pouch on to big catches at ease. The 24-year-old possesses great throwing accuracy and could pose a serious threat to the batsmen, with a few run-outs like that of Sachin’s dismissal in the IPL 2012 eliminator, changing the course of the game.

3. MSD bats at No.6:

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one among the world’s best batsmen today but throughout his career his batting talent has been under-utilized. With the arrival of Jadeja, the problem has been solved to a certain extent as Dhoni would get the chance of playing his natural game. MSD at No. 6 also gives him the flexibility to adapt to the situation and with Jadeja coming in at seven, India could offer to chase big scores without herculean efforts.

Dhoni could actually bat during a crisis with a more reliable batsman rather than trying to hang around with the tail. The Dhoni – Jadeja combo has already helped India in a few critical situations and if Jaddu could work on his batting, India could definitely become world beaters in all forms of cricket.

2. Adaptable bowling:

As the recent matches have showcased, Jadeja has become a better bowler than he was. His biggest strength is his accuracy and he does bowl the arm ball very well in the shorter formats. Even though he might not be able to show variations with the ball, he has the guts to produce game-changing deliveries with consistent line and length. He could now raise his collar and call Australian captain Michael Clarke as his ‘bunny,’ having dismissed him in five out of six innings.

More importantly, Jaddu doesn’t leak runs in the middle overs in ODIs, cranking up the pressure on the batsmen. Also, his bowling average of 21.90, might serve as a big boost to his confidence.

1. Copes with criticism:

The more we make fun of him, the better he becomes. Having been subject to criticism ever since he made his debut, he has actually developed his cricketing skills with every passing day. Nicknamed ‘Rockstar’ by Shane Warne in IPL 2008, Jaddu has lent an able shoulder in different situations to save India’s pride, in spite of ‘Sir Ravindra Jadeja’ jokes constantly trending on the social media.

In cricket stadiums across India, only Sachin Tendulkar has been cheered with a greater intensity than Jadeja and he has instantly converted that into positive energy, and has performed with credibility.

So, just keep trolling Jaddu, for the sake of himself, and for the sake of Indian cricket.

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