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Ravindra Jadeja’s Stocks as a Batter Continue to Rise

Ravindra Jadeja’s Stocks as a Batter Continue to Rise, the vie

57 matches, 2195 runs at 34.29with one hundred and 17 half-centuries – you will take these stats as pretty decent if you are a top-order batter at the international level. These numbers would be good enough to keep your place in any national squad. Now, add to that 227 wickets at 24.96 with a strike rate of 61.5 and you have one of the world’s leading all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja’s numbers. To say Jadeja has been quite good during his Test career will be just about right. For someone whose Test career seemed to be in the doldrums in 2017 and 2018, Jadeja’s batting has come to the fore ever since and has changed the fortunes of former India U19 world cup winning player in the longest format.

During April 2017 and September 2018 India played 14 Tests and R Ashwin got the nod ahead of Jadeja on most occasions playing 13 of them, while Jadeja managed to play just six. Most of these matches were played overseas with India touring Sri Lanka, South Africa, the Caribbean, and England in this time frame. They played as many as 10 Tests. While Jadeja gave a good account of himself with the ball in these encounters picking 29 wickets at an average of 23.03 and strike rate of 49.2, it was his batting that was letting him down – the left-hander scored just 145 runs in 7 innings with a solitary fifty during this period. He failed in 4 of these 7 innings. With wrist spinners being preferred over finger spinners both Ashwin and Jadeja also lost their places in the white-ball squads as well and Jadeja, for that matter, did not play a single match for India from December 2017 till the one-off against Afghanistan in June 2018. He was again not considered for the limited-over series in England and was out of the XI for the first four Tests too.

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Till it all changed at The Oval in September 2018.

Jadeja was included in the XI for the fifth and final Test against England at The Oval and returned with 4 big wickets in the first innings. He then came out to bat at 160 for 6 and hammered an unbeaten 86 including 11 fours and a six top-scoring for India in the innings. Jadeja bagged three more wickets in the second innings and returned with his best bowling figures outside Asia. This fine all-around show changed Jadeja and led to massive transformation across formats. The renaissance change was seen in his batting – Jadeja became a destructive hitter capable of producing match-defining knocks from the lower order. From that Oval knock, Jadeja has scored 999 runs in 21 matches at an average of 43.43, which is better than Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, and Rishabh Pant during the same time frame, while Mayank Agarwal is marginally ahead of Jadeja with 44.37. That top three among Indian players with at least five Tests to their name. And it is no surprise that out of his 17 fifties, nine came  post the Oval knock and he also registered his only century during this time.

Indian Players with best Test averages From Oval Test 2018

Name  Matches  Innings    Runs  Highest score  Avg 100s 50s
Shreyas Iyer 1 1 0 105 105 105 1 0
Washington Sundar 4 6 2 265 96* 66.25 0 3
RG Sharma 18 31 3 1568 212 56 5 5
Mayank Agarwal 15 24 0 1065 243 44.37 3 4
Ravindra Jadeja 21 30 7 999 100* 43.43 1 9
Rishabh Pant 23 38 3 1506 159* 43.02 3 7
Prithvi Shaw 5 9 1 339 134 42.37 1 2
Virat Kohli 26 42 2 1667 254* 41.67 4 8
Shardul Thakur 4 6 1 190 67 38 0 3
Ajinkya Rahane 30 49 3 1678 115 36.47 3 10
Cheteshwar Pujara 30 50 1 1748 193 35.67 3 13

Jadeja recorded his maiden Test hundred against the West Indies in Rajkot in 2018, scored a quickfire 81 against Australia at the SCG in 2019 and was involved in a match-changing and series-transforming century stand with Rahane in the historic MCG Test of 2020 (scoring 57). Fair to say Jadeja has been one of India’s most reliable batters in recent years and the fact that he has batted at number 8 or below on most occasions, his numbers, in that context is quite remarkable.

Ravindra Jadeja Test batting numbers year-wise break-up 

Year Matches Innings Not Out Runs Highest Score Avg 100s 50s
2012 1 1 0 12 12 12 0 0
2013 5 7 1 93 43 15.5 0 0
2014 6 11 1 259 68 25.9 0 1
2015 4 5 0 109 38 21.8 0 0
2016 9 14 4 375 90 37.5 0 3
2017 10 14 6 328 70* 41 0 4
2018 5 7 2 228 100* 45.6 1 1
2019 8 10 3 440 91 62.85 0 5
2020 2 3 1 82 57 41 0 1
2021 7 11 1 269 56 26.9 0 2

Over the years, Jadeja has improved his batting and as former India international and cricket analyst Aakash Chopra puts it, “Jadeja’s batting transformation is all about a clear Gameplan and the commitment-belief of sticking with it for as long as possible.” Jadeja has been the most effective in Indian, naturally, but his batting record overseas also has seen a stark improvement since 2018.

Ravindra Jadeja’s Test batting Numbers (From Oval Test to Present)

Country Matches Innings Not Outs Runs Highest score Avg Strike-rate 100s
Australia 4 5 1 175 81 43.75 54.85 0 2
England 6 11 1 290 86* 29 43.8 0 2
 India 8 9 3 434 100* 72.33 65.36 1 4
 New Zealand 1 2 1 25 16* 25 78.12 0 0
West Indies 2 3 1 75 58 37.5 41.2 0 1

Ravindra Jadeja’s Test batting Numbers (From Test Debut to Oval Test)

Country Matches Innings Not Outs Runs Highest score Avg Strike-rate 100s 50s
England 5 10 1 276 86* 30.66 55.31 0 2
India 26 36 10 822 90 31.61 62.5 0 6
New Zealand 2 3 1 82 30* 41 101.23 0 0
South Africa 1 2 0 8 8 4 100 0 0
 Sri Lanka 2 2 1 85 70* 85 77.98 0 1
West Indies 1 2 0 22 16 11 73.33 0 0

In comparison, R Ashwin, who has in the past pipped Jadeja as the premier allrounder in the past owing to his superior batting skills, has had a massive dip in form which also contributed to Jadeja getting more opportunities to bat higher up. During the same time frame that is from the Oval Test onwards Ashwin has averaged merely 20.66, scoring 434 runs in 18 matches with one hundred to his name. Thise numbers are starkly different from what he racked up since his debut till the Oval Test – 2289 runs in 62 matches at 29.72 with four hundreds to boot. The post 2018 slump has also led to a drop in his overall batting average in Tests to 27.78 from 80 matches.

Jadeja came to bat at No.5 in the first innings on the ongoing Test at Kanpur, ahead of Wriddhiman Saha and R Ashwin and is a testimony to his improved batting. While former coach Ravi Shastri was a vocal backer of Jadeja in the playing XI because he gave the added variety of being a left-handed in the line-up alongside Rishabh Pant, Rahul Dravid also seems to be went with a similar gamelan adding Jadeja in the middle-order mix at No.5. Remember, without Pant Jadeja is the only left-hander in India’s playing XI.

Ravindra Jadeja’s Batting Position in Tests

Batting Positions Matches Innings Not Outs Runs Highest Score Avg 100s 50s
4th position 1 1 0 40 40 40 0 0
5th position 2 3 0 29 17 9.66 0 0
6th position 9 9 4 327 91 65.4 0 4
7th position 21 27 5 634 100* 28.81 1 3
8th position 22 31 5 882 90 33.92 0 8
9th position 11 12 5 283 70* 40.42 0 2

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