IND vs AUS: Ravindra Jadeja flays fatigued Aussies with panache
India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja battles bouncers, new ball with timing and technique to annoy hosts with a score of 81
It took a while to digest that Pujara had finally been dismissed. The India No. 3 had batted for over nine hours and compiled a fine 193, but his caught and bowled dismissal silenced the Indian crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
For the next 15-20 minutes, the game moved at a snail's pace. There was barely a sound in the crowd and the members started to disappear for some refreshments. The game was standing still. India were in a commanding position at 418 for 6.
Somebody needed to inject life into the contest. Even the ever-flowing and exciting Rishabh Pant opted to go about his business in second gear. Enter the ever-reliable Ravindra Jadeja.
He can be frantic as a batsman, but he has the uncanny knack of speeding up the game. There is something that is always happening. Yesterday, the minute Jadeja arrived at the crease the Australian fast bowlers tried to rattle him with a few bouncers. It worked, but only momentarily.
After ducking under one from Pat Cummins, the left-hander backed away and carted him over point for a boundary. It kick-started his innings and frustrated the daylights out of the fatigued Australian attack.
There is no doubt that Jadeja has issues while defending against the short ball, so instead of ducking and weaving, he counter attacked. Cummins tried the two card trick by bowling full, but Jadeja was up to the mark and carted him back over his head for a maximum. This is Jadeja the batsman that has enormous potential, but at the same time, has the strokeplay to annoy the opposition.
The talented all-rounder clubbed his way to a half-century in 89 balls. The celebration was the typical sword flying and Nathan Lyon even backed away from him as he twirled his bat around in style.
In frustration, the Australians opted for the third new ball, but as the old saying goes, the quicker you bowl, the faster it will disappear. Jadeja took short balls from Cummins and smashed him for four boundaries. All of them sweetly timed and each executed with perfect technique. Jadeja's 114-ball 81 twisted the knife into the Australians.
But it will be on Day Three that India will need his exploits with the ball. The pitch might be benign, but one thing we know is that Jadeja just has the ability to make things happen.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe