Mitra watched as Jadeja scored his maiden Ranji— 314 off just 375 balls against Orissa in November 2011. The veteran coach was there again when Jadeja made an unbeaten 303 against Gujarat last month. And he was witness once again when the Jamnagar lad scored his second triple ton of the season and the third of his first-class career on Sunday in Rajkot. Mitra rated Sunday’s triple century as the best.
“This (triple ton) was his best. It was a very different knock unlike what I have normally seen from Jadeja. This one was a mix of patience and aggression,” Mitra told MiD DAY from Rajkot yesterday after Jadeja created history by becoming the first Indian batsman to score three triple-centuries in first-class cricket. In doing so, he joined the illustrious company of WG Grace, Bill Ponsford, Don Bradman, Wally Hammond, Graeme Hick, Brian Lara and Michael Hussey.
Jadeja, who was unbeaten on 320 at stumps on Day Two, was eventually dismissed for 331, caught behind by Mahesh Rawat off Hardik Rathod at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot yesterday. Saurashtra finally declared at 576-9 on the penultimate day. In reply, Railways were 157 for one at close of play.
Jadeja’s triple ton was laudable as the hosts were on 90 for four at one stage. “He played for the team. It was a very sensible and mature innings. That’s why it’s the best,” said Mitra adding that Jadeja deserved full credit despite the fact that the marathon knock (707 minutes) came on a placid track.
“Why aren’t people giving him due credit?” he fumed.
“Scoring over 300 runs in an innings is not a joke on any wicket. And don’t forget, his previous two triple tons were scored outside Rajkot (Cuttack and Surat),” he added.
Mitra said that such talk of scoring big runs on placid tracks was nothing new. “The same things were said when Cheteshwar Pujara scored triple tons. Look where he is now. He has already scored a double ton against a formidable England side. Jadeja is a proven performer. He is desperate to get back into the Indian team.
He is sincerely working on his game. Test cricket is his aim. I think he is the best all-rounder in India now,” Mitra signed off.