When Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin spun India to a Champions Trophy win in 2013, many thought India had two spinners set to be deadly in all formats of the game. Fast forward to 2017, Jadeja has been struggling in ODI Cricket for a while now. While his Test credentials have soared up with both bat and ball, his ODI credentials have taken a turn for the worse.
Since 2014, the year in which he had a lot of both success with both bat and ball, Jadeja has not had a notable performance for three years. In 2014, the Saurashtra all-rounder scored 369 runs at an average of 61.50 with four fifties and took 25 wickets at 32.68 in 17 matches. All his four fifties and his two four-wicket hauls came outside India. After that good year though, runs and wickets have both deserted him.
In his last three years, Jadeja has played in 26 ODI’s in which he has scored only 223 runs at 18.58 and has picked only 21 wickets at 57.43 at an economy rate of 5.45. His highest score in this period is 32 and a best bowling performance of 2/23. The 28-year old has been widely criticised for not making the right shot selection consistently and bowling too flat or too quick at many times.
In the Champions Trophy final, Jadeja was involved in a big mix-up with Hardik Pandya which led to the latter’s run out and that did not go down well with the fans. In India’s last match, chasing 190, India needed 17 off 16 balls when Jadeja played a needless lofted shot and got out with MS Dhoni stranded at the other end. India ended up losing by 11 runs and though the defeat cannot be blamed only at Jadeja but being a player with over 130 ODI’s of experience, maturity and sensibility were expected of him.
In India’s recent Champions Trophy campaign, Jadeja just picked up the four wickets. India, on their road to the 2019 World Cup, need Ravindra Jadeja to fire on all cylinders. Though his test performances have been sky-high, he is due a big performance from both bat and ball and India hopes he starts delivering consistently if they are to start their preparations for the ultimate prize – the 2019 World Cup.