Mohali Test: Ravindra Jadeja can bat better than that!
Southpaw's 90 boosts India, but he didn't give grit a good name by throwing his wicket away when on the cusp of a maiden Test century
India's Ravindra Jadeja plays a shot during Day Three of the third Test against England in Mohali yesterday. Pic/AFP
Raviindra Jadeja is an enigma as far as batting in Tests is concerned. How can a player who has three triple centuries in first-class cricket, struggle to get even a half-century in Tests? He has barely three fifties in 35 innings.
Of course, it has more to do with the role assigned to him by the team management as a frontline bowler who bats lower down the order. His primary responsibility is to get wickets, while in batting he is required to show up only when the team is in dire straits.
One such situation was witnessed at Mohali yesterday, when India required runs on the board to put England under pressure in the third Test. Batting so often with fellow-spinner R Ashwin, Jadeja seems to have learnt the knack of applying himself at the crease and not throw away his hand to a careless stroke.
But when he was on the verge of his first-ever Test century he gave it away by playing a reckless stroke against leg-spinner Adil Rashid. A century was there for the taking. It was his best chance to get the monkey off his back and join many lower order players who have a Test ton under their belt.
Skipper Virat Kohli seemed more peeved than Jadeja as it brought out an unprintable explicit from his mouth in the dressing room. But then, that's Jadeja for you. He takes it as it comes and within minutes he was sitting next to his skipper in the same dressing room, chatting and laughing, without a hint of disappointment.
One of the most perplexing facts about Jadeja's career is that all his seven first- class centuries have come before he made his Test debut and none ever since he debuted against England at Nagpur in December 2012.
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