Home > Features >

Ravindra Jadeja could well have the last laugh, much like Andrew Flintoff

Ravindra Jadeja could well have the last laugh, much like Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff (left) showed the charisma of a leader even before he burst onto the international scene. Ravindra Jadeja’s start to international cricket makes for an interesting parallel study © Getty Images

Aayush Puthran draws similarities between Ravindra Jadeja and Andrew Flintoff and believes that the Saurasthra lad can script a successful story for himself and the team, much like the Englishman.

Andrew Flintoff showed the charisma of a leader even before he burst onto the international scene. But much like Ian Botham, he was never a successful captain. However, that wasn’t the worst he could do to his abundant talent. He wasted most of it during the early part of his career due to brash attitude and overweight problems which powered over his ability with the bat and the ball. On the other hand, the latter half was plagued with injuries bringing a hastened end to a colourful career. If not for the hype that English media surrounds its sportsmen with, Flintoff’s stats wouldn’t have done justice to his cricketing laurels.

For almost four years, England captains persisted with Flintoff in the hope that one day the 6 ft 4 inch giant would shoulder the responsibility expected of him. What followed after 2002-03, is a part of cricketing folklore. Along with Jacques Kallis, Flintoff ended up as arguably the best all-rounder of the first decade of the 21st century, with the 2005 Ashes victory being the highlight.

Ravindra Jadeja’s start to international cricket makes for an interesting parallel study. Netizens have sarcastically ripped apart Jadeja’s calibre and potential, which included the mock knighting of the Saurashtra player.

However, the entire hype around Jadeja’s poor performance is questionable. With an ODI batting average of almost 30 and bowling economy rate of 4.32 and average of around 35, the question becomes more valid. Yes, he has failed at crucial times and by no stretch of imagination has he done justice to his talent, but he has given enough reasons to be persisted with. His domestic record makes his case all the more stronger.

Jadeja’s batting stats

  Inns Runs Ave SR
Tests 1 12 12 38.7
ODIs 44 968 29.33 80.53
T20Is 10 74 10.57 84.09
First-class 44 331 5348 59.42
List A 77 1614 29.34 84.54
Twenty20 65 1072 20.22 118.06

Jadeja’s bowling stats:

  Inns Wkts Ave Eco SR
Tests 2 3 39 1.67 140
ODIs 60 66 35.25 4.82 43.8
T20Is 14 7 47.28 7.24 39.1
First-class 73 147 27.08 2.42 67.1
List A 98 121 26.69 4.56 39
Twenty20 62 38 33.5 7.52 26.7

 

What takes Jadeja to the level of Flintoff is his attitude in failure. Like the Englishman, Jadeja too has a sense of brashness within him and it almost helps him come out of poor performances. Constant mocking and jokes by media and fans alike had virtually killed the enigma that surrounded Flintoff. Yet, for the big man to put his head down and succumb in defeat was the last option. His arrogance was on display on the field, without wanting to prove himself to anyone. The T-shirt waving act at Wankhede in 2002 had turned to just a spread of arms in 2005. While both were representing success, they were giving out different signs of self contentment.  The former was about proving a point to the critics, while the latter showed that the mighty man ruled his game. Jadeja’s performances in the last two ODIs are an indication of a man unaware of the criticisms of the ignorant. He has brought in as much arrogance in his game as anybody would, but without being over-zealous to pit his own downfall like he had done in the past.

Similar to Flintoff, media and fans have written-off the immense potential that exists in Jadeja and it wouldn’t be surprising if he makes the critics to eat their words.

What Jadeja needs now is the backing of a good skipper. He has already displayed his class and value in the Indian Premier League (IPL) under the captaincy of Shane Warne for Rajasthan Royals. One would argue that although Dhoni has backed him and shown enough faith, he has probably underutilised him, both as a bowler and a batsman, for Chennai Super Kings as well as India. Flintoff faced a similar problem, till Michael Vaughan took over the England captaincy.

Given the dearth of genuine all-rounders that India is facing currently, Jadeja is needed for the longer run, especially in the limited-overs format. If Dhoni can find a solution to optimise Jadeja’s abilities, the all-rounder has all the ingredients to script another Flintoff-like story of success. With the recent turn of events, Dhoni and Jadeja seem to be walking that path. If they ensure successful execution of the same, Indian cricket stands to prosper for long.

(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!)

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of England 2014

Aug 15, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at London

More

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014  at Southampton

England won by 266 runs

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Colombo

Match drawn

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Highlights of Phil Hughes' double ton

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Highlights

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Reasons for India’s heavy defeat

10 little known facts about Jacques Kallis

Moeen Ali spins India into trouble: Will he stun them again on Day 5 at Southampton?

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: How an Indian fan remembers the South African legend

England England vs India England vs India 2014 Ian Bell India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Jacques Kallis James Anderson Moeen Ali South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka

India vs England 2014 3rd Test stats highlights: Day 5

Naman Ojha to replace Wriddhiman Saha in Indian squad for England tour

England retain squad for 4th Test against India at Old Trafford

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Players who were questioned did well, says Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook heaps praise on Moeen Ali after England’s win over India in 3rd Test at Southampton

10 little-known facts about Sir Frank Worrell

Statistical analysis of Jacques Kallis’s ODI career

Top 12 cricketing moments between England’s two Test wins

Naman Ojha’s selection for India’s tour of England is a step in right direction

India vs England 2014 3rd Test stats highlights: Day 5

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

658 Posts | 6 Fans

Sachin Tendulkar's nine dismissals against James Anderson

Abhishek Bachchan shows off his metrosexual side!

Meow chat app stalks users on social networks

Exclusive: Aamir Khan’s PK poster leaks!

Top 12 cricketing moments between England’s two Test wins

Prevent Diabetes Tip – get regular health check-ups

BlackBerry to acquire Secusmart; Open to more such acquisitions

Statistical analysis of Jacques Kallis’s ODI career

Rafael to miss rest of Man Utd’s tour of the USA with groin injury

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here