India Vs Sri Lanka Test match: Jadeja takes centre stage

All of this was in evidence against Sri Lanka on Day 2 of a Test that’s already slipping away from Sri Lanka. The visitors have lost four wickets and still trail by 466 runs.

Published: 06th March 2022 09:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th March 2022 09:14 AM   |  A+A-

Ravindra Jadeja. ( File Photo)

Ravindra Jadeja. ( File Photo)

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  In familiar conditions at home, the Indian Test team, especially the batters, are a different beast. They are more confident in their shot selection, never allow pressure to be built up by the bowling side, and score at a fast clip. In the last few years, the lower-order, especially when facing opposition spin, has also begun to contribute vital runs.

All of this was in evidence against Sri Lanka on Day 2 of a Test that’s already slipping away from Sri Lanka. The visitors have lost four wickets and still trail by 466 runs.

The genesis of India’s mammoth total was again lower-order runs. If Rishabh Pant’s 96 on Day 1 put India in command, Ravindra Jadeja unbeaten 175 made the visitors wave the white flag on Saturday. At one point in time, they stopped bothering about picking wickets and were willing the hosts to declare so as to put them out of their misery. 

The improvement in Jadeja’s batting has been well documented but it’s improved by so much he can now be considered as a batting all-rounder rather than a bowler who can contribute with the bat. 

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That improvement can be traced back to the same venue (IS Bindra Stadium) in 2016. Somewhere between that innings against England, where he scored his then highest score (90) and faced the most number of balls in an innings (170) and Saturday, where he repeated those twin feats (175 and 228), the southpaw has developed into a reliable batter capable of performing a variety of batting roles.  

The numbers pre-England at Mohali and post-England at Mohali make for contrasting reading. In his first 22 Tests before that outing, he averaged 23.51. Including that England game, he averages 46.88. Since Jadeja has the third-best average among all Indian batters (minimum 10 games), the seventh highest run-getter (1688), sixth for balls faced (2741), fourth for 50s (15), and second for sixes (40). 

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His improvement has had a profound impact on the way India plans their combinations for home games. It’s allowed them to play with just five specialist batters knowing full well the 33-year-old can moonlight as a batter if half the side is in the pavilion for next to nothing. 

On what clicked for him on Saturday, he said: “The mindset needs to change in international cricket and I try to stay calm in pressure situations so that I can maximise my ability and play my natural game... As a batter, I give myself time in shot selection and I select my shot after analysing the behaviour of the strip.” From an Indian perspective, the strip is taking some turns and there’s enough in it to cause the visiting batters significant discomfort in the days to follow. 


India 1st innings (overnight 357-6): Jadeja n.o 175, Ashwin c Dickwella b Lakmal 61, J Yadav c Thirimanne b Fernando 2, Shami n.o 20. Extras (b4, lb12, nb12) 28. Total (8 wickets dec, 129.2 ovs) 574. FoWs: 1-52, 2-80, 3-170, 4-175, 5-228, 6-332, 7-462, 8-471. Bowling: Lakmal 25-1-90-2, Fernando 26-1-135-2, Kumara 10.5-1-52-1, Embuldeniya 46-3-188-2, de Silva 18.2-1-79-1, Asalanka 3.1-0-14-0.
Sri Lanka: Karunaratne lbw Jadeja 28, Thirimanne lbw Ashwin 17, Nissanka n.o 26, A Mathews lbw Bumrah 22, D de Silva lbw Ashwin 1, Asalanka n.o 1. Extras (lb6, nb7) 13. Total (4 wickets, 43 ovs) 108. FoWs: 1-48, 2-59, 3-96, 4-103. Bowling: Shami 7-3-17-0, Bumrah 9-2-20-1, Ashwin 13-6-21-2, Yadav 5-2-14-0, Jadeja 9-3-30-1.

Ravindra jadeja
RUN 175*
Balls 228
17/3 SR 76.75


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