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the front cover, and his batting is hidden u

    • 2093 posty
    December 30, 2018 6:34 AM GMT

    Ravindra Jadeja seems as relatable a cricketer as there has ever been. Skills wise.His left-arm spin has the mystery of a novel with the ending on the front cover, and his batting is hidden under a secret flap in the coaching manual so no professional will ever find it. Jadeja could have been you or me. It may well be this thought that spurs the critics. What is so special about this fellow that he is playing for India?Jadeja punched Chris Woakes, Englands fastest bowler, through cover for his first boundary in Mohali on Monday. Think about what happens when we play that shot against our buddies trundling in at 50kph.Still, the fact that he is paid to play the sport at the highest level demands a bit more scrutiny than those doing it to avoid homework. And for a man who has three first-class triple-centuries, the kind of shot-a-ball batting he has indulged in all his career has been jarring. In those moments, he was worse than you or me. We wouldnt waste opportunities like that.In Indias first innings at Mohali, Jadeja faced the most balls he has ever done in a Test. He top-scored for India for the first time ever. He fell 10 short of a hundred his team-mates would have so cherished.Two months ago, Virat Kohli delayed his declaration in the second innings against New Zealand in Kanpur so Jadeja would get a fifty. Indias captain insisted his allrounder perform the Rajputana sword dance and only then walk off the field. On Monday, the celebration was prefaced with a look to the heavens and a clenching of his fist and it ended with the bat coming up towards his face in a salaam. The first part of this routine was for himself. The flamboyance and gratitude was for his friends.This wasnt like Lords in 2014, when Jadeja had come out with nothing to lose and everything to gain. Here, India had been coasting, then they lost three wickets for eight runs. Considering they had to bat last, they needed to score as many runs as they could now.That meant Jadeja had to behave like a proper batsman. He had to see off the good balls. Heck, he even had to tackle the (second) new ball. He was at the crease for 60 overs, weathering bouncers, standing up to reverse swing, putting on the Tests biggest partnership with R Ashwin and giving India an invaluable lead. It was international crickets glimpse into the Jadeja that his domestic team Saurashtra have always known.The stance is simple. There is no premeditated movement. He allows himself a tucking of the right shoulder under his chin and then he is ready. In this innings, unlike previous times when he has looked appropriate to his position of No. 8, he played the ball late and trusted that if he lasted long enough he would get the runs his side needed. His 90 off 170 balls was as good an innings by an India lower-order batsman as there has ever been.Having realised that, England went to Plan B and tried drying up the runs with a 7-2 off-side field. There was a gully, two short covers and a mid-off in a straight line pointing to the sightscreen behind Jadeja. All of them turned in unison to watch a spanking on-drive for four. He found a tiny gap off a cut shot, between gully and point; then produced an encore of the on-drive and finally wrapped the over up with a down-the-track whack through vacant midwicket. The Code of Conduct doesnt allow a batsman to walk up and laugh in the oppositions face. Trust Jadeja to find the loophole.It was an overs worth of fun for ages and ages of restraint, indulged only after India had pulled ahead of England by 80 runs. That is how he thinks: team first. He can bowl endlessly if asked. He fields like few Indians ever have. Hes learning to bat better. Wonder what would happen if he is tasked to make sure Mohali has a full house for Test matches.Jadeja could have been you or me. His idea of a romantic date is a candlelit dinner in Paris. Weve had those same fantasies. He has a lot of experience with, ahem, colourful advice coming to him from all sides whilst bowling. Same as us in gully cricket. We can bowl a good-length ball too. Just that he can bowl it for overs at a time. We can dance down and hit over the top too. He does it knowing the vilification that awaits a mistake. We can be Jadeja, if only we can put in the years and years of hard work he has. Stitched Basketball Jerseys . Pettersen, winner of last years Evian Championships, had nine birdies and three bogeys, holding off a series of challengers led by Marion Ricordeau of France. The second-ranked Norwegian made her season debut after missing the LPGA Tours opening event last month in the Bahamas because of a shoulder injury. Cheap Nike NBA Jerseys . 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