It was one of those nights where Jadeja could do no wrong © AFP

On April 7, 2012, IPL’s most expensive purchase, Ravindra Jadeja, notched up a stellar performance — scoring 48 off only 29 balls and then picking up five wickets — which was instrumental in Chennai Super Kings’ annihilation of Deccan Chargers at Vishakhapatnam. Sarang Bhalerao revisits Jadeja’s superb performance.

Ravindra Jadeja’s fearless brand of cricket for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2008 catapulted him in the big league. In 2012, his ability with the bat, wicket-to-wicket bowling and electric fielding helped him earn a million-dollar contract with the defending champions Chennai Super Kings. The astronomical sum of money Jadeja got was a bitter pill to swallow for a few. But Jadeja’s purchase underlined the fact how franchises mollycoddles a player, who brings in multiple disciplines ,with huge sums of money.

Jadeja walked into bat against Deccan Chargers with the scoreboard reading 64 for three in the ninth over. Chargers pegged back the scoring-rate by picking the wickets of Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina and Faf du Plessis. Subramaniam Badrinath was timing the ball well and Jadeja played the role of sheet anchor for four overs. Badrinath was dismissed in the 13th over and Chargers, by picking wickets at the regular intervals, were beginning to dictate terms. Jadeja was on nine off 13 deliveries when the 13th over ended with Chennai 97 for four.

Jadeja cut loose in the following over, bowled by left-arm spinner Ankit Sharma, to step up Chennai’s scoring rate. Sharma kept tossing the ball up to Jadeja, who hoisted him for a humungous 105-metre six, and finished the over with another six over sweeper cover. Sharma, who had bowled a superb delivery to get rid of Murali Vijay, was now hiding for cover. Jadeja lost Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the next over and at the end of 15th over Chennai had scored 121.

Daniel Christian was clobbered for two fours and Jadeja was beginning to hurt Chargers. The feature of Jadeja’s batting was his clean hitting that was missing when he played for India in the CB series in Australia and the Asia Cup. But Jadeja was making an impact now for CSK. In the 18th over, Jadeja was out hit wicket while trying to work Dale Steyn off his pads towards short fine-leg. It was a soft dismissal. But Jadeja’s innings of 44 gave CSK a solid launch pad for the final assault. Dwayne Bravo hit five sixes in the last two overs and finished on 43 off 18 deliveries. Chennai scored 40 off their final two overs and finished with 193 off 20 overs.

Deccan Chargers struggled to get quick runs. They lost Daniel Harris (15 off 17 balls) and Shikhar Dhawan (21 off 18 balls) quickly. Cameron White and Parthiv Patel were batting. At the half way stage Chargers scored only 73 runs. They needed another 121 in the final set of 10 overs. Jadeja was introduced into the attack in the 11th over. He struck immediately removing Patel who was trying to force the issue. He got a thick inside edge and the ball cannoned onto the stumps. The big hitting White was snapped up by left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati.

In the next over [Jadeja’s second], i looked to steer Jadeja to third man but the ball kept low and hit the stumps. Deccan were now out of the contest. The required rate, when Jadeja came onto bowl his third, was 15.83. Jadeja tossed the ball up and induced false stroke from MS Gony. Gony tried to heave Jadeja over covers looking at the trajectory of the ball and was caught in the deep by Raina.

DB Ravi Teja was dragged out of his crease by a loopy spinning delivery. Teja missed it and Dhoni stumped him. Jadeja exacted the revenge on Steyn , who had dismissed him, by going through his defences.  Jadeja finished with figures of 4-0-16-5.

It was one of those nights where Jadeja could do no wrong.

(Sarang Bhalerao hails from a family of doctors, but did his engineering. He then dumped a career in IT with Infosys to follow his heart and passion and became a writer with CricketCountry. A voracious reader, Sarang aspires to beat Google with his knowledge of the game! You can follow him on Twitter @bhaleraosarang)

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