Sidharth Monga wrote in Ravindra Jadeja’s recently-updated cricinfo profile, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” A fellow Gujarati, Mahatma Gandhi, could well have meant to say this about Ravindra Jadeja.”
Yes, he was bowling in rank turners against players who had no clue how to play spin or even apply themselves in the conditions. It is also true that Jadeja’s big test, both as a batsman and a bowler, lies outside India. But, what Jadeja showed in the series was the hunger to prove himself. He bowled in the right areas and for most part of the series looked better than Pragyan Ojha. His 24 wickets in the series, next only to Ravichandran Ashwin’s 29, stand testimony to that. More importantly, it was the way he got his wickets that makes his case stronger. The fact that he dismissed Michael Clarke five times in six innings provides ample evidence that he has found his foothold in international cricket.
What was also evident in the series was that Jadeja had grown in confidence. His impressive bowling had a positive impact on his batting. In the Delhi Test, he smashed Nathan Lyon for two amazing boundaries down the track, while players like Tendulkar were finding it tough to deal with the off-spinner.
The India-Australia series could well be the watershed moment of Jadeja’s career, like 2001 series was for Harbhajan Singh and VVS Laxman.
As the song Ashes to Ashes goes, I’m gettin in where I fit in, Cause winners never lose, and losers never win, Cause, in the ghetto, survival is a must, So, ashes to ashes and dust to dust
(While enjoying the small joys of life, rarely has anything mesmerised Aayush Puthran more than cricket. A student of Journalism in Mumbai, he is trying to figure out two things: ways to make Test cricket a commercial hot property and the best way to beat Mumbai traffic. He has a certain sense of obsession with novelty. He might seem confused, but he is just battling a thousand demons within his mind. Nonetheless, he is always up for a light-hearted chat over a few cups of coffee!)