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Ravindra Jadeja: India’s go-to man against England in ODIs

Ravindra Jadeja has enviable figures against England in ODIs © Getty Images (File Photo)
Ravindra Jadeja has enviable figures against England in ODIs © Getty Images (File Photo)

Ravindra Jadeja continues to be a match-winner for India with the ball in One-Day Internationals (ODIs). With another four-wicket haul from Jadeja, India romped to a win against England in the first ODI. R Vishal looks at Jadeja’s stupendous ODI record against England.

The James Anderson-Ravindra Jadeja episode left a bad taste in a cricket fan’s mouth by the end of the Test series. For all their efforts, India fell flat on their faces — on and off the pitch. Jadeja and India’s on-field form tapered away, and the left-arm spinner was subsequently dropped from the Test side. To compound his misery, the Saurashtra all-rounder’s very presence in five-day cricket came under immense scrutiny. His tepid show at Old Trafford had critics pen stories about his obituary in Test cricket.

The shorter versions of the game help Jadeja mask the chinks in his armour, and given England’s approach in the 50-Over game, he is bound to succeed against them. England in ODIs seem to be stuck in a perpetual time warp. This is where Jadeja’s plucky orthodox spinners have rattled their batsmen time and again, and numbers indicate that he is India’s go-to man against this opposition.

M

W

Best

Ave

Eco

15

30

4/28

17.83

4.66

Armed with statistics that could prove to be any bowler’s dream, Jadeja has a measly average of 17.83 in the 15 games that he has played against England so far. Things start looking even better whenever India has gone on to win a game against England. The dismissals too have been predominantly top and middle-order batsmen more often than not. There have been occasions when England briefly threatened to take the game away from the Men in Blue before Jadeja came on and had the batsmen in a spin.

Below are Jadeja’s figures during India’s ODI wins against England:

Matches

Wickets

Best Bowling

Ave

Econ

10

25

4/28

12.36

4.15

Reasons for Jadeja’s success against England in ODIs:

The large Indian contingent that turned up in Cardiff relentlessly chanted “Oh…Ravi Jadeja” even when Raina was bludgeoning the English bowlers to all corners of the ground. There seems to be an air the inevitability with Jadeja and this opposition. With Ravichandran Ashwin garnering a lot of flak for failing to replicate his pyrotechnics on India’s travels, conditions have not been a deterrent for Ashwin’s spin partner.
1. England’s approach in ODIs was always built on a shaky foundation, and caution has been their mantra for eons now. Even in the second ODI, Alastair Cook could not shrug off that tag despite chasing a stiff total. This in turn applies pressure on the middle order batsmen, who try to hit him out of the park and that plays right into Jadeja’s alley.

2. England’s woes against spin is not just restricted to Jadeja alone. One-trick ponies to the extreme, the batsmen live on a staple diet of heaving the ball over cow-cover, or sweeping the ball. With the length slightly short and the ball turning away, especially for a right hander, it becomes difficult to make last minute adjustments, especially if the shot is premeditated. This away turn has also presents stumping chances.

3. Ashwin and Jadeja go through their overs within a bat of the eyelid. Its goes without saying that Ashwin sustains the pressure at the other end that Jadeja builds when the duo are on song. The batsmen are cramped and have very little time to catch their breath or think out a strategy to combat Jadeja’s threat.

4. England are a side packed with too many right handers in the middle order. Jadeja’s overall record too shows that a majority of his scalps have been right-handed batsmen. Against England, 28 of his 30 wickets so far have been right-handers and narrows down a huge percentage of his dismissals. The axed Kevin Pietersen was a right-hander too and his struggles against left-arm spin only compounded matters.

5. Taking Jadeja apart while chasing under the lights is no easy ask. In five of India’s wins against England after batting first, he has managed to take a whopping 15 wickets in just five games at an astounding average of 8.73 a piece.
Complete coverage of India’s tour to England here

(R Vishal is a journalist and alumnus of Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)

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