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IPL 2019: Warrior Ravindra Jadeja is on the prowl

CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
17 Apr 2019, 12:57 IST

Ravindra Jadeja after hitting Ben Stokes for a six (picture courtesy: BCCI/iplt20.com)
Ravindra Jadeja after hitting Ben Stokes for a six (picture courtesy: BCCI/iplt20.com)

Cricket lovers across the world have seen the helicopter shot, the seesaw shot over the wicketkeeper, the reverse sweep, the reverse pull, the reverse hook and the tennis shot. But nobody had ever seen what Ravindra Jadeja produced against Rajasthan Royals in Match 25 of IPL 2019 - a lofted six from a sleeping posture.

In an astonishing sequence of events, Jadeja lifted Ben Stokes for a six over long-off and crash-landed on the ground in his follow-through. For a few seconds he didn't move from his sleeping posture, and as Stokes stumbled in his follow-through too, the world was treated to the comical sight of both men lying on the ground at the same time.

But while that was happening on the pitch, the ball was soaring up in the air, eventually landing outside the long-off boundary. The lying down Jadeja and Stokes, as well as the cricketing world at large, looked on in wonder.

But Jadeja has been included in the World Cup 2019 squad not for his sleeping posture shot but for his remarkable all-around performance. Sure, Jadeja does not have the batting prowess of Rishabh Pant or Prithvi Shaw, nor the bowling guile of Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal. But he has the ability to make the best use of his potential.

Hailing from a royal Rajput family, Jadeja seldom accepts defeat without taking the battle to the opposition camp. There is an element of unpredictability in this warrior, who can make heads turn with his hidden brilliance.

Jadeja has an uncanny ability to enhance his capacity to a higher level. That makes him an asset to any side, as CSK are finding out this season - MS Dhoni's team are on top of the IPL points table, and Jadeja's contributions have had a big role to play in that.

Jadeja is a left-arm orthodox spinner who often becomes unplayable on a turning pitch. He currently ranks 15th in the Purple Cap list with seven wickets in eight matches. And though Jadeja is not as consistent in his batting, he compensates for it with his brilliant fielding.

Jadeja is like a cheetah in the deep midwicket region diving, chasing, catching and throwing with amazing accuracy. In the match against RCB, Jadeja ran from the boundary line and dived at the last moment to catch AB de Villiers' mistimed sweep inches above the ground.

Jadeja can trigger a collapse of the opposition team with his superb one-action pick-up and throw, which seldom misses the stumps. His presence in the field always puts pressure on the batsmen; after all, a crucial run out can change the course of the game.

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A natural athlete, Jadeja can convert a half-chance into a sure catch. That is the reason why Dhoni always put him in the deep mid-wicket to trap the big hitters.

With Jadeja in the squad, Team India have got the much needed balance to make an attempt for another World Cup title run.

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